By Gemma Childe on 10th Jan 2012
Wind farms and other low-carbon technology costs will not lead to a hefty increase in fuel bills, according to government advisers.
Members of the Committee on Climate Change claim rises in bills of around £290 over the past few years have been mainly due to higher wholesale gas costs. They believe that green policies will add £110 to bills per household by 2020.
It is believed that an estimated 1.5million people in the UK are in fuel debt, where they are unable to meet the cost of bills.
The committee determined that the combined gas and electricity bill for typical households could go up from £1,060 in 2010 to £1,250 in 2020 but suggested that energy efficiency measures such as as loft and wall cavity insulation could reduce the bill to £1,085 per household.
Lord Adair Turner, the committee's chairman, said: "Over the next decade, we anticipate a rise of around £100 in the average bill as a result of investment in low-carbon power capacity, which will benefit the UK in the long run."
David Kennedy, the committee's chief executive, said that while some have claimed that energy bills are "through the roof at the moment" due to investment in green energy, the committee's analysis showed this "clearly" was not the case.
The committee analysed the impact of investing in technology including offshore and onshore wind, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.
It said average dual fuel energy bills showed an increase of £455 over the six years from 2004 to 2010, however, 80 per cent of this was unrelated to low-carbon measures and the biggest contributor was rising gas prices.
The campaign group Consumer Focus and the charity Citizen's Advice said energy prices increased by seven per cent last winter and warned that further rises of 14 per cent this winter would push more people into debt.