ENERGY and climate change secretary Ed Davey has pledged that the Liberal Democrats will “permanently” cut fuel bills and reduce taxes for energy efficient homes if the party remains in power after the next General Election.
Mr Davey unveiled a package of measures he said would deliver a better deal for electricity customers as part of a major shake-up of the UK energy market, as he delivered a speech to the Lib Dem annual conference in Glasgow.
The cabinet minister said his party would ban the generation of electricity from coal by 2025 and preside over a greater shift towards the use of renewable energy such as wind power.
Mr Davey went onto warn that a Conservative election win next year would see the move towards renewable energy “stopped dead in its tracks” with an over reliance on the controversial shale gas extraction - fracking.
The Lib Dem also claimed that the Conservatives “just don’t care” about soaring energy bills as he promised that the Lib Dems would introduce a ten year council tax cut of at least £100 a year for energy efficient homes.
He said “When it comes to helping those struggling most to pay their electricity and gas bills, some of my Conservative colleagues just don’t care.”
Mr Davey added: “So voters beware. Voting blue will never get you green. And if the Tories win the next election, the dramatic rise in renewable electricity Liberal Democrats have achieved would be stopped dead in its tracks.
“If the Liberal Democrats are in government after the election, we will legislate to ban the generation of electricity from coal from 2025.”
Mr Davey also launched a scathing attack on the last Labour government’s record on energy bills as he criticised what he said were “temporary gimmicks” such as Ed Miliband’s plan to freeze energy bills until 2017.
Mr Davey said: “Ed Miliband, Labour’s last energy minister, left an energy market dominated by the “Big 6”, with over 99% market share. Miliband had refused to take on these big business interests. Miliband was happy with Labour’s Big 6.
“Well, Liberal Democrats weren’t. We could see the dangers to people’s energy bills from Labour’s weak approach to energy competition. After all, fuel poverty had rocketed under Labour. If the Liberal Democrats are in government after the election, we will legislate to ban the generation of electricity from coal from 2025.
“With our new major tax cut for energy efficiency, in our pre-manifesto. A ten year council tax cut. Of at least £100 a year. Paid for by central Government.
“So on the doorsteps, we will be the only party offering a double bill cut – a permanent cut in your energy bill, for a ten year cut in your council tax bill.
“Liberal Democrats – on the side of the consumer. Taking on Labour’s Big 6. Delivering permanently lower bills, not temporary gimmicks.”