Providing cheap electricity and gas will require £3bn

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The government will need to spend £3 billion a year if it is to tackle high energy prices and reduce the cost of bills for consumers, it has been claimed.

According to energy watchdog Consumer Focus, the government will have to part with the cash each year for the next seven years.

Consumer Focus said that the government's plan to get rid of fuel poverty by 2016 is a commendable one but will require far more money to achieve than has already been set aside.

The organisation said: "The government's energy efficiency plans are too underfunded, untargeted and under-prepared to tackle the fuel poverty crisis affecting more than five million vulnerable pensioners, families and disabled people across the UK."

An additional two million homes could end up in fuel poverty if tariffs are increased to raise cash for infrastructure improvements and climate change technology developments.

The Wales Green Party has just published a manifesto that calls for a £2 billion windfall tax on non-renewable energy.

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