Household electricity bills will soar by 30 per cent to pay for “green” measures being announced this week by Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, according to experts.
Costly new incentives to encourage energy companies to invest in renewable power sources such as wind farms will put an extra £160 a year on the average household bill over the next 20 years.
The huge rise is on top of drastic increases in bills being faced already by consumers. Last Friday British Gas, which posted profits of £742million last year, announced gas price rises of 18 per cent, which followed Scottish Power saying it would increase rises of 10 to 15 per cent.
Mr Huhne is expected to announce on Tuesday that energy companies, such as Centrica and EDF, will get a fixed price for electricity generated from nuclear power and wind farms, which will be higher than the market price.
The financial incentives will be funded by consumers, who will see their electricity bills rise by 30 per cent over the next 20 years from an average of £493 per year to £655 per year.
Experts predicted that single pensioners will be the hardest hit by the changes, because power bills represent a higher proportion of their income than for any other group.