British Gas, OVO, Octopus customers warned energy bills will 'jump by £200'

Energy bills could jump by £200 under plans to build gas-fired power stations, it has been warned. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the plants were needed to ensure the UK met its goals to cut emissions by nearly four-fifths by 2035.

Aurora Energy Research said Britons would pay almost £200 extra in bills over a decade to foot the cost of building the power stations. “What consumers are being asked to buy is energy security,” Aurora Energy’s Tom Smout told the Daily Telegraph.

"The priority is to keep the lights on by having backup for the intermittency of renewables." Mr Smout went on: “An extra 5Gw of new backup generating capacity is needed to keep the lights on. Each gigawatt of capacity will cost about £1bn.”

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Energy secretary Claire Countinho said on Tuesday: “A weather-dependent, renewables-based electricity grid means we will need to have flexible power for when the wind doesn’t blow, and the sun doesn’t shine. Without gas backing up renewables, we face the genuine prospect of blackouts.”

CEO at Energy System Catapult, Guy Newton states ‘‘It is increasingly clear that the only way we can get to a net zero electricity system in time and without pushing up bills is to move to a market that reflects local supply and demand.”

Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart, said: “We plan for all eventualities, and the public should be confident that we have a strong and diverse supply, we have taken all the steps to look after our needs for the winter… and to ensure we aren’t in a vulnerable position again in the future.”

Shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband said: “Today, the Energy Secretary has confirmed that, after 14 years of failed Conservative energy policy, under the Tories Britain would face at least another 10 years of high energy bills and energy insecurity because of their plans.

“Of course, we need to replace retiring gas-fired stations as part of a decarbonised power system, which will include carbon capture and hydrogen playing a limited back-up role in the system.

“But the reason the Tories cannot deliver the lower bills and energy security we need is that they are specialists in failure when it comes to our clean energy future: persisting with the ludicrous ban on onshore wind, bungling the offshore wind auctions, and failing on energy efficiency.”