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Labour’s claims it will cut energy bills by £300 are ‘false’, insist Tories

Ed Miliband claims an expansion of nuclear and renewables will save consumers money
Ed Miliband claims an expansion of nuclear and renewables will save consumers money - ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP

Claire Coutinho has accused Labour of misleading voters over claims its green energy plans will slash household bills by £300 a year.

The Energy Secretary said the Opposition’s net zero plans are nothing more than a “gimmick” based on outdated data.

The criticism comes after Ed Miliband, the shadow energy secretary, claimed that a massive expansion of wind, solar and nuclear power will cut consumer bills by an average of £300 a year by 2030.

However, Ms Coutinho pointed to new analysis claiming that Labour’s proposals, which revolve around creating a new quango called Great British Energy, will increase bills.

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She said: “Labour’s GB Energy proposal is a gimmick that won’t generate any energy and won’t cut bills, whilst the rest of Labour’s policies put Britain’s energy security at risk.

“Now we know that not only will Labour increase your taxes by at least £2,094, but Ed Miliband’s latest vanity project will put up your energy bills too.”

The Conservatives claim that Mr Miliband has based his £300 saving claim on the cost of electricity a year ago – when prices were much higher. A Tory spokesman said this reliance on outdated pricing makes its claim false and irrelevant.

In response, Mr Miliband criticised the Government for insulating too few homes and moving too slowly on expanding onshore wind.

It marks the latest war of words between the MPs, as energy bills become a key battleground during the election campaign.

From July, the average household will pay £1,568 a year for electricity and gas, although experts on Tuesday warned that energy bills could rise within months. LCP Delta, a consultancy and research firm, warned that energy costs could “rebound this autumn” if European gas storage tanks were not sufficiently replenished in time. Britain relies on the rest of Europe for gas supplies during the coldest months because it has little storage capacity of its own.

Sam Hollister, head of economics, policy and Investment at LCP, warned that Europe could face a crunch if storage levels are further eroded, including by Russian attacks on facilities in Ukraine, as shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are being diverted to Asia.

He added: “Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted pipeline flows, Europe has become heavily reliant on inter-seasonal storage to protect and bolster supply in the colder winter months.

“However, high stock levels are being eroded as LNG exports are being diverted away from Europe, into higher-priced Asian markets.

“If Ukrainian storage is lost, Europe’s storage buffer would fall further... increasing the chances of a ‘dash for gas’ by utilities to avoid winter shortages.”

Labour was contacted for comment.