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Chris Huhne and the Lib Dems fighting to keep fuel costs down

October 18, 2011 8:49 AM
Originally published by Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and Rossendale

No government can control volatile world energy prices. But we can still help people get their energy bills down. So today I am bringing together industry, consumer groups and the regulator Ofgem for an energy summit that will focus on getting people the help they need to reduce their bills in time for this winter.

As Liberal Democrats we have long argued that in the long run the only way to reduce bills is to improve energy saving in our homes, and to invest in more energy generation at home to end our reliance on imported fossil fuels. But there are steps everyone can take today. Working with our Consumer Minister Ed Davey we have launched a new campaign to help consumers 'check, switch and insulate to save'.

Across the country Liberal Democrat activists are joining the campaign to help people Save Money, Stay Warm and Go Green. From today easy advice will be available at the Directgov website.

The summit today will be announcing direct help for consumers:

From next year the Liberal Democrat Green Deal will offer improved insulation for everyone at no upfront cost and by the end of 2012 we will ensure that 3.5 million householders benefit. We have also increased the electricity bill discounts available for the fuel poor by two-thirds, guaranteeing £120 off their bills to more than 600,000 of our most vulnerable pensioners. And an expert working group will report jointly to Ed Davey and me early next year on enabling greater collective purchasing and switching in the energy market.

Today's summit is to be just the start of a much more active engagement with consumers, with all of us working harder and faster to deliver an energy market that is trusted, simple and transparent. In meeting our climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiencies goals, I am determined that everything that can be done will be done to help people bring their energy bills down.

If you use twitter you can share the 'check, switch and insulate to save' message and follow developments through the day using the #energysummit hashtag, or by following @DECCgovuk.