MPs have warned families will be hit with higher electricity bills for the next 20 years because of ‘shocking’ blunders in deals to build offshore wind farms, the Metro reported.
Customers will suffer because £17billion of contracts handed to companies to transmit power to the mainland were ‘too generous’.
The deals guarantee rich pickings for investors because ministers failed to learn the lessons from tangling with big business through private finance initiatives, the public accounts committee warned.
Chairwoman Margaret Hodge said: ‘The terms of the transmission licences appear to have been designed almost entirely to attract investors at the expense of securing a good deal for consumers.’
Ministers hope 15 per cent of Britain’s power will come from wind farms by 2020. But that requires £8bn of investment in equipment such as platforms, cables and substations.
Licences handed to two operators, Transmission Capital Partners and Macquarie, guarantee an inflation-linked income for 20 years.
Investors will rake in returns of ten to 11 per cent.
Mrs Hodge added: ‘Not only is it unlikely that this new licensing system for bringing electricity from offshore wind farms onto the national grid will deliver any savings for consumers, it could well lead to higher prices. It is shocking that the Treasury allowed it to proceed.’
The Department for Energy and Climate Change said it was re-examining its licence terms after regulators said £3.5bn of savings could be made.