Energy UK chief: Energy bills could rise 50% over the next six years

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Hard hit energy consumers could face an energy bill rise of another 50% over the next six years it has been warned.

Energy UK, the UK energy industry's trade body, made the stark warning after EDF became the latest firm to announce price hikes and E.On - the only 'Big Six' firm yet to confirm a bump in bill prices - suggested a similar price rise was almost inevitable.

Energy UK chief executive, Angela Knight, defended the rising costs and said the UK actually has the lowest gas price in the EU region, and also one of the lowest electricity costs. However, she believed the push for green energy and decarbonisation, coupled with energy security and affordability meant prices were always under pressure to increase.

She said: "The industry has become a lightning conductor for the general concern about the cost of living.

As a result we stand accused for things that we do, for things that we don't do, for things that we are responsible for and things that we are not … this is not an understood industry."

The warning comes at the same time as a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) estimates there could be an increase of 18% in household energy bills between now and 2030.

The report said low income households were particularly at risk, with the cost of energy and water bills accounting for 15% of their spending in 2011 - double the national average. By comparison, in real terms many low-income households had fallen by 11% since 2002.

As a way to both tackle energy efficiency and reduce domestic carbon emissions, many of the 'Big Six' energy suppliers are working with the government as part of its Green Deal. Under the scheme, energy customers can seek loans on energy improvement measures such as new boilers and wall insulation.

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