Queen mentions bill to cut energy costs in speech

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The Queen has outlined an energy bill which could produce cheaper gas and electricity prices in her annual speech to parliament.

If passed into law, the bill will give Ofgem more influence to control the service energy companies provide their customers. It will also give it greater powers to fine businesses for wrongdoing.

Originally the bill, which will apply to England, Scotland and Wales, was introduced in parliament in 2008. The aim is to provide "secure, clean and affordable energy" as well as reduce the country's carbon emission.

It is also hoped that the bill will provide more protection for consumers, particularly those on low incomes who require help paying their gas and electricity bills.

The news should be welcomed by consumer groups, a number of which have been calling for energy companies to reduce their prices and pass profits back to their customers. Yesterday the charity National Energy Action called for low cost gas and electricity to become a national priority as it launched its annual Warm Homes Campaign.

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