UK Electricity Bills Highest in Europe Because of Nuclear Focus

LONDON - - Sweeping energy market reforms due to be unveiled by the Government will make UK electricity bills among the highest in Europe, say analysts.

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, is likely to say that energy companies, such as Centrica and EDF, will get a fixed price for electricity generated from nuclear power and wind farms which is higher than the market price.

However, it is understood that the Government may delay another subsidy for power station owners, called capacity payments, while there is further consultation.

The financial incentives will be funded by consumers, who will see their electricity bills rise by 30pc during the next 20 years from £493 per year to £655. This estimate was made before electricity bills soared to their highest ever for millions of customers after 10pc to 15pc price increases by British Gas and Scottish Power in the past weeks.

However, ministers have decided to push through the costly package to make sure EDF, Centrica, RWE, E.ON, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern think Britain is an attractive place to build nuclear power stations and wind farms. The UK needs to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from power generation to hit European Union targets.

The changes will hand billions of pounds in subsidies to the energy companies and kick-start a construction programme creating thousands of jobs.


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