EU to help cut electricity and gas bills

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The European Union (EU) will introduce new legislation to help poorer families trapped in fuel poverty with their gas and electricity bills.

MEP's will also approve plans to reduce the cost of energy for people on pre-payment meters and back a drive to install smart meters in all EU homes by 2022.

However, the 27 governments involved in implementing the new rules failed to agree on a policy which would have forced the EU's largest energy firms to sell off their transmission networks.

France and Germany blocked the plans, which were aimed at increasing competition in the energy sector on the continent.

"For the first time we have put the issue of energy poverty on the European agenda," said Eluned Morgan, Labour MEP and co-author of the package due to be endorsed this week.

"This could lead to the prevention of hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths in the poorest households," he added.

According to the Register, extra funding for the renewable energy sector in the UK will be provided for by increasing consumer electricity bills.

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