Britain: Higher energy bills 'reasonable'

Nov. 23, 2012 at 4:47 PM

LONDON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Increasing energy bills of British households and businesses is "reasonable" to pay for wind farms and nuclear power stations, a government official says.

It is sensible to ask consumers to pay $12 billion a year toward the cost of building "greener" power stations because prices are "going to go up no matter what," Tim Yeo, the Conservative MP leading the Energy Committee, said.

Bills would go up an estimated $285 a year by 2030 under the government's green fuel policies, with funding of nuclear and renewables accounting for $150 of that by 2020, Britain's Department of Energy said.

In the long run the policies would save people money in comparison with relying too heavily on fossil fuels, British Energy Secretary Ed Davey said.

"When I talk to the energy companies ... they say the biggest impact for energy bills is gas prices -- over 50 percent of your bill, whether its electricity or gas -- is because of high gas prices," he told the BBC.

Energy bills have more than doubled since 2004 to more than $2,080 a year per household, largely because of the increasing natural gas prices, The Daily Telegraph reported.

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