Ed Davey: I wear a jumper at home to keep energy bills down, says minister as British Gas raises prices by 10%

The Energy Secretary said it is possible to keep bills down by taking energy efficient measures

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The Independent Online

Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, has said he wears a jumper at home and has switched energy supplier to keep his bills down, amid consumer fears that rising energy prices will make their homes too expensive to heat.

Mr Davey said it was possible for people to make savings on gas and electric by switching to a cheaper supplier and taking more energy efficient measures.

His comments came after British Gas announced they would begin increasing electricity bills by 10.4 per cent and gas tariffs by 8.4 per cent.

As controversy raged over above-inflation fuel price rises from British Gas and SSE, Mr Davey said last night he wore a jumper at home when it got cold.

The Lib Dem MP told BBC2's Newsnight: “I'm sure people do wear jumpers, I wear jumpers at home.

“We do need to help people with these bills, I'm extremely worried about them. We can use competition in the way we have but we can also make our homes warmer and we can use less electricity and gas by going energy-efficient, and that's what the Government is trying to do.”

However, a No 10 spokesman made clear that Prime Minister David Cameron would not be telling people to put on a jumper when temperatures drop during the winter months.

Asked at a daily Westminster press briefing today whether Mr Cameron agreed that people could reduce their fuel bill by wrapping up warm, the Downing Street spokesman said: “That's not a question that I have asked him. Clearly, he is not going to prescribe necessarily the actions individuals should take about that.

“But if people are giving that advice, that is something that people may wish to consider.”

The spokesman added: “His advice to people is to shop around for fuel prices.”

Ministers have reacted angrily to the announcement that British Gas, one of the so-called Big Six energy suppliers would raise their prices above inflation.

British Gas however has blamed Government green levies, the cost of delivering energy, and rising wholesale prices for forcing it to increase their tariffs. The provider said it expects that actual bills will be lower this year.