Interviewee: Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Ed Davey MP answers key questions on the UK Government's Energy Policy and how it will balance issues of affordability and investment.
What would be the right energy mix for the UK?
Our reforms to the electricity market have three objectives. First, to ensure the security of energy supplies and keep the lights on. Secondly, to make sure energy is affordable to consumers and businesses. And thirdly, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. We want to see more renewable energy, such as wind, a new generation of nuclear power stations and to find new ways of exploiting our fossil fuels whilst reducing carbon emissions - through carbon capture and storage, for deliveryexample. As for the precise mix, we are not going to be prescriptive - it will be for the market to determine - but it does need to be a diverse mix to ensure that we are not over-reliant on any one source or fuel.
What are the solutions to cope with 'fuel poverty'?
Fuel poverty affects too many families who are on a low income and unable to keep warm at a reasonable cost. The Government is providing targeted support to those households least able to afford the costs of rising energy bills, for example through grants for efficient heating and insulation under the Warm Front scheme, and a Warm Home Discount for low-income households, which will take £135 automatically off the bills of around two million households next winter. Cold Weather Payments are targeted at those particularly vulnerable to the cold, such as disabled and older people. We are working on a new fuel poverty strategy - the first for over 12 years.
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