Energy bills will rise if Britain leaves the EU, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd says

The Cabinet minister also warned EU fragmentation could give more power to Russia

Household energy bills will rise if Britain leaves the European Union, the Energy Secretary will claim today.

Amber Rudd will warn in a speech consumers will be hit by a “massive electric shock” in the event of Brexit.

The Conservative Cabinet minister will point to a report drawn up by National Grid that estimates household energy costs will rise by £500 million a year.

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Amber Rudd: Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

“If we left the European Internal Market, we’d get a massive electric shock because UK energy costs are likely to rocket by at least half a billion pounds a year – the equivalent of British bills going up by around one and a half million pounds each and every day,” she will say.

The minister will also point to EU investment in UK energy infrastructure, which she says supports 660,000 jobs.

She further warned that the break-up of the EU single market for energy would give Russia –a major natural gas producer – more influence over the continent.

“We can’t let our energy security be hijacked as a political pawn to bring Europe to its knees. By working together in the European Union each member state can stop this becoming a reality,” she will say.

“As a bloc of 500 million people, we have the power to force Putin’s hand. We can coordinate our response to a crisis. 

“We can use the power of the internal market to source gas from elsewhere. We can drive down the price of imports, as has happened recently in Eastern Europe.”

UKIP energy spokesman and MEP for the East Midlands Roger Helmer described Ms Rudd’s argument as “facile”.

“Amber Rudd's facile analysis fails to grasp energy economics,” he said.

“Far from producing cheap electricity, the EU has done the opposite with some of the highest costs worldwide, relying on expensive renewables.”

National Grid’s report, written by the Vivid Economics consultancy, says the UK would be expelled from the EU’s internal energy market if it voted to leave.

Some countries outside the EU – including Norway – however participate in the bloc’s energy market.

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