EU targets 'to increase the cost of energy'

Efforts to meet the European Union's targets on renewable energy and carbon emissions are set to increase the cost of gas and electricity, according to new research.

The study by Ernst & Young found that the domestic bills could rise by 20 per cent as the government attempts to introduce eco-friendly measures in the UK.

However, it was also found that over 60 per cent of the public would not be prepared to pay the extra cost, which is predicted to be around £213 a year.

Simon Harvey, one of the authors behind the new report, said: "The average consumer does not appear to realise that this additional cost is going to hit their wallets.

"There seems to be a worrying degree of apathy among consumers to reduce energy consumption, despite daily headlines about rising fuel bills."

Sam Laidlaw, the chief executive of British Gas's parent company Centrica, recently stated that energy prices would have to rise "at some point".

Talking to a committee of MPs, he explained that the rising cost of wholesale energy meant that it was "clear" the cost of gas and electricity would increase.

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