Ministers should set caps to cut the amount of carbon in Britain's energy generation, Labour said today.
The Government's much-delayed Energy Bill is a missed opportunity because it failed to impose targets for decarbonising the power system, shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint told MPs.
In a Commons statement setting out the Bill, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said UK energy investment was at its highest for 20 years.
But Ms Flint demanded "a clear commitment to decarbonise the energy sector by 2030", adding: "Not just business in the renewables sector but elsewhere are really concerned about the lack of a vision of the Government on this issue."
Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint has said the cost "burden" of the Government's new energy bill "will fall on bill payers".
Responding to Energy Secretary Ed Davey's statement in the House of Commons, the Labour MP said the move to invest in green power generation would increase costs for consumers.
She said: "It is more important than ever we have energy prices that work in the public interest."
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has told the House of Commons that government policy is "designed to reduce consumer bills" as he sets out proposals to reduce demand for electricity - a move which critics suggest will increase households bills.
The long-delayed Energy Bill, formally published today, authorises ministers to almost treble investment in "green" power generation to £7.6 billion, up from £2.35 billion this year.
Davey added in a statement to the House: "The bill is good for Britain's economy and good for consumers."
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has told Daybreak that Britain needs "billions of pounds of investment in our ageing energy infrastructure."
Environmentalists say the Bill does not go far enough, because it does not include a target to slash carbon emissions from the power sector by 2030.
[The lack of a target was] jeopardising green jobs and industry and undermining efforts to tackle energy insecurity and climate change.
George Osborne's fossil-fuelled economic strategy will keep the nation locked into dirty gas for decades - and with experts predicting gas prices will carry on rising, cash-strapped households will be forced to foot the bill.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey believes the spending level for low-carbon power subsidies will allow the UK to meet goals to supply 30% of electricity from renewables by 2020.
Davey also believes that the Bill will fund other low-carbon technology including nuclear and fossil fuel power plants where emissions are captured and stored.
There's a real challenge in this decade because we're going to see lots of power stations coming to the end of their life.
Coal power stations are closing down and nuclear power stations are closing down, so we've got to have a lot more new generation capacity coming on.
Nearly 20% needs to be replaced so we need to make sure the electricity market provides the incentives for people to invest.
The coalition Government is absolutely determined to help cut energy bills for consumers, reduce costs for businesses and bring down our emissions.
We need to make our energy supply fit for the 21st century, and in a world of rising gas prices we must power our homes and businesses in a much more efficient way.
If you look at all our energy policies together with energy efficiency for example and our reforms to tariffs, we believe that people's bills will be lower in 2020 than they otherwise would have been because of the way we're helping people save energy.
- Financial incentives will also be offered to firms and individuals that install more efficient equipment, such as better freezers in supermarkets.
- Firms could also be paid to commit to permanent reductions in their electricity use, and an obligation on energy firms to help secure efficiencies extended to cover business premises.
- Better labelling of products and an awards scheme to highlight firms that use only highly-efficient products are also included in the consultation.
- Officials said any new measures would have to be carefully worked out to avoid undermining any of the existing schemes, such as the Green Deal.
The Energy Bill will allow energy companies to charge households an extra £7.6 billion until 2020, to go towards low-carbon electricity infrastructure.
An estimated £110 billion is needed in the next decade to renew the UK's ageing electricity infrastructure, with much set to go into low-carbon power sources such as wind farms.
Critics say the changes will be paid for by sharp rises in bills but Mr Davey insists state support for low-carbon electricity will cost the average household less than £100 a year.
And he said that he was "absolutely determined" to more than compensate for that by expanding efforts to encourage energy efficiency measures and lower energy demand.
A 10% reduction would save £4 billion in 2030, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) calculates, and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to those of a large city in a year.