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Davey: Miliband's energy freeze will 'hurt people'

Ed Miliband's proposal to freeze energy prices for 20 months if Labour are elected in 2015, will "hurt people", the Energy Secretary told Daybreak.

The energy companies would "push up bills before Miliband's freeze and afterwards", Ed Davey said.

In turn, he claimed, this would "hurt" the fuel poor and "undermine" investment in green energies.

*British Gas announces cut in bills *

Govt's energy plans 'to save households £50 a year'

The Government has announced plans to reduce the current cost of levies on energy bills, which it said will save households an average of £50 a year.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it will establish a rebate saving the average customer £12 on their bill and reduce the cost of the Energy Company Obligation insulation scheme.

"While the Government cannot control the price of energy in the global market, it can help bill-payers by reducing the impact of social and environmental programmes on their bills," the DECC said in a statement.

Read more: npower 'will not increase energy prices before 2015'

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Govt: Profits 'are a matter for energy firms to justify'

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said it is up to the energy companies to justify their profits.

An electricity meter.
Ofgem said the 'Big Six' energy firms made an average 20% profit on energy generation. Credit: Jens Buettner/DPA/Press Association Images

A departmental spokesman said: "Profits are a matter for energy companies to justify to their customers and shareholders, but profits are needed if they are to continue to invest in Britain's energy security and infrastructure".

Read: ITV News business editor Laura Kuenssberg's blog on how much money the energy companies are really making

DECC: Agreement on Hinkley Point not yet finalised

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has issued this statement following the Chancellor's announcement that he is "paving the way" for Chinese investment in British nuclear power plants, including potentially the one at Hinkley Point:

Negotiations remain on-going between Government and EDF Group on the potential terms of an investment contract for Hinkley Point C – with an agreement yet to be finalised.

– DECC statement

Read: Should we be worried about the Chinese owning our nuclear power stations?

Government projects slight rise in fuel poverty in 2013

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has projected that the number of families in fuel poverty will "increase marginally" over the course of this year.

Figures for previous years have been recalculated using the government's new definition of fuel poverty.

Graph showing the rate of fuel poverty since 1996, with the projected figures for 2012 and 2013 in red
Graph showing the rate of fuel poverty since 1996, with the projected figures for 2012 and 2013 in red Credit: DECC

DECC notes that the figures could differ from the above projection, which assumes that the average price for gas an electricity will rise by seven percent in the Autumn.

How does the government define 'fuel poverty'?

Read the full report here

How does the government define 'fuel poverty'?

The government changed the way it defines fuel poverty in July 2013 following a consultation that found that many rich households are technically fuel poor.

  • Until July 2013, any household that spends more than 10 percent of income on gas and electricity was defined as being fuel poor.
  • The new definition includes only households where total income is "below the poverty line" and where "energy costs are higher than typical".

Energy Secretary Ed Davey has said that the old definition meant that even the Queen could be considered to be fuel poor because of the high cost of heating her estates.

But energy campaigners have accused the government of trying to mask the problem of rising fuel poverty.

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Government to reveal number of fuel poor families

A change in the definition of fuel poverty is expected to lead to a drop in the number of fuel poor families
A change in the definition of fuel poverty is expected to lead to a drop in the number of fuel poor families Credit: Berliner Verlag/Archiv/DPA/Press Association Images

The Department for Energy and Climate Change will today release the latest figures for the number of families in fuel poverty.

But the figures are expected to show a drop in fuel poverty due to a change in definition by the department last month.

The new data will include the confirmed figures for 2011 and projections up to 2013.

How does the government define 'fuel poverty'?

DECC: Not all of shale gas can be extracted

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced that there is potentially 40 trillion cubic metres (1,300 trillion cubic feet) of shale gas in the Bowland Basin in the North of England.

The study was commissioned from the British Geological Survey on an area covering 11 counties.

DECC advised that not all of this could be extracted, but said the report "will give industry and regulators an indication of how best to plan future exploratory drilling".

The government is announcing a package of reforms toenable shale gas exploration today.

Report: Communities to get a cut of fracking revenues

Communities that host fracking sites are to be offered one percent of any revenues generated over the lifetime of the well, according to the BBC.

Anti-fracking demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament, London
Anti-fracking demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament, London Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Fracking is the process of pumping a mixture of water and chemicals below the ground at high pressure in order to release natural gas stored in shale rock below.

Some local residents have opposed the proposed sites over fears that the process causes earthquakes, contaminates ground water and can affect house prices.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to release details of a package for local residents later today.

Govt: Just 9% of your energy bill goes on green policies

The government has defended its energy and climate change policies pointing out that they account for just 9% of the average household bill - equivalent to £112.

This is how the average bill breaks down:

  • Fossil fuel prices - 47%, or £598
  • Network costs or transport and distribution of energy - 20%, or £257
  • Government policies (including renewable energy policies) - 9%, or £112
  • Renewable energy policies - 2.4%, or £30

A report from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says that 85% of the rise in household bills between 2010 and 2012 was from wholesale energy costs and network costs, and 15% as a result of government policies.

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