Ed Miliband responds to critics of Labour energy price freeze plans


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Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband has responded to critics of the party's proposals that it would freeze energy prices if he won the 2015 election.

Whilst the idea has been met warmly by consumer groups, it's had a number of high-profile critics, including Liberal Democrat and current energy secretary, Ed Davey. Mr Davey said that if the price freeze, which would last 20 months, was implemented, it could risk "the lights going out." Others have argued that energy suppliers would simply increase their prices beforehand to negate the effects of the freeze.

Mr Miliband, however, has revealed that action would be taken against suppliers that defied it.

He told the BBC that he'd written to all energy suppliers, and that he would "make sure this is a genuine freeze that works for consumers."

"If we have to take action to make sure that happens, we absolutely will," he added.

Labour has stated that a price freeze would save the average UK household around £120 annually, and businesses £1,800.

Ian Peters, a senior British Gas executive, speaking at a meeting on Tuesday, however, stated that the intervention could "threaten energy security in the UK."

"If we have no ability to control what we did with the retail prices, and that (wholesale price volatility) was to happen again, it would mean we are selling products at significant amounts of a loss and that would threaten energy security in the UK," Mr Peters stated.

British Gas is one of a number of suppliers participating in the government's Green Deal initiative. It allows customers to get funding for energy efficiency home improvements - such as the installation of a new gas boiler.

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