It is the Government's long awaited light bulb moment. The Energy Bill published today envisages changes that would reach into our lives.
By 2020 we will be paying nearly £100 a year more for energy. But whether bills will come down again afterwards is still in dispute.
The coalition will announce plans on updating the energy infrastructure of pylons and power stations, and cutting our reliance on carbon.
The Energy Bill is set to cost households an extra £100 a year by the end of the decade. The government says the cost is justified because clean power stations will help tackle climate change and create jobs.
ITV News' Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said the government made the wrong decision in not setting a target to cut emissions by 2030.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has claimed that adding around £100 to annual household energy bills by 2020 will reduce costs in the long term, but this was described by an industry insider as an "heroic assumption", ITV Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg said.
Another industry source cast doubt on the government's assumption that energy efficiency will offset increasing costs.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey told ITV Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg that consumers will be paying more for energy in eight years time, but said that those increases will eventually lead to bill reductions.
The CBI welcomed the Government's energy plans, but warned that vulnerable consumers should be protected from price hikes.
Its Director-General, John Cridland, said: “This package will send a strong signal to investors that the Government is serious about providing firms with the certainty they need to invest in affordable secure low-carbon energy.
“We now have political agreement on this critical issue and the Government should get the bill on the statute books as quickly as possible.
“As more details emerge, the Government should ensure that those households and businesses most vulnerable to increased energy prices are protected.”
The Government has reached a long-term agreement that’s going to deliver "a clear, durable signal to investors," the Prime Minister's spokeswoman said today.
She was speaking as details of the deal on energy policy within the Coalition began to emerge.
She said investments in green energy would form a bigger percentage of bills in future, but insisted energy efficiency measures would mean overall bills would come down.
The biggest impact on prices was the rising cost of gas, followed by the need to replace outdated infrastructure.
Investment in green energy actually had the least impact on consumer bills, she said.
A new energy-efficient electricity infrastructure will create "a massive increase in jobs" now, while the impact on household bills will rise gradually, Energy Secretary Ed Davey told ITV Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg.
The Liberal Democrat MP said that the average consumer is currently paying 2% of their energy bill to supporting clean energy and this will rise to 7% by the end of this decade, but this increase will pay for a system that will actually reduce energy bills in the long term.
"We think [the rise will be] slightly under a £100 in eight years time, but the offsetting measures of things that will go the other way, and all our policies together, will mean that we think the average household will see a bill that's reduced by 7% than it otherwise would have been."
The Federation of Small Businesses has called on energy reform "to go hand in hand with radical changes in the retail energy markets" to deliver tighter regulation of the "big six" energy companies.
– John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses
While we welcome the much needed certainty the Energy Bill will give to investors to help secure the UK’s energy supply, we are concerned that small firms will be left exposed to ever increasing energy bills. The remorseless rise in energy costs is hurting not only individual businesses but also the competitiveness of the UK as a whole.
Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey told ITV Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg that after an initial spike in household energy bills, costs will ultimately come down, because of investment in energy and moves towards energy efficiency.
- The creation of a Government-owned company to act as a single counterparty - said to give investors confidence to enter into new long term Contracts for Difference for low carbon electricity projects.
- Powers to introduce a capacity market, allowing for capacity auctions from 2014 for delivery of capacity in the winter of 2018/19, if needed, to help ensure the lights stay on even at times of peak demand.
- Amendment during passage of the Bill to take powers to set a decarbonisation target range for 2030 in secondary legislation. A decision to exercise this power will be taken once the Climate Change Committee has provided advice in 2016 on the 5th Carbon Budget which covers the corresponding period.
In the meantime, the Government said it will issue guidance to National Grid setting out an indicative range of decarbonisation scenarios for the power sector in 2030 consistent with the least cost approach to the UK’s 2050 carbon target.
The guidance, it said, will reflect both the existing fourth carbon budget and a scenario in which it is reviewed up, as outlined when the budget was set.