Minister suggests bills will rise

The Oxford Times: Energy bills may have to continue rising, a minister suggested. Energy bills may have to continue rising, a minister suggested.

Energy Minister Greg Barker suggested inflation-busting energy bill rises could continue in order to secure the £100 billion-plus investment needed to secure supplies.

Conservative Anne McIntosh, chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, questioned why Ofgem did not follow the lead of the water regulator Ofwat by limiting "way above inflation" increases.

But Mr Barker replied during energy questions: " I am aware of the comparison that you make but the fact of the matter is, we have an extraordinary requirement for new investments thanks to the dearth of investment and long-term investment that we saw under 13 years of Labour.

"We are now playing catch-up. We require over £100 billion to go into our energy sector to secure our supplies and I'm afraid that money does have to come from somewhere."

Ms McIntosh had asked: "Would you take the opportunity to take a look at some of the work of Ofgem and how it is that Ofgem allows price rises in the energy sector way above inflation whereas Ofwat take a much tougher line with water customers?"

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