Energy sector sets up lobbying group to combat price rise criticism

The UK's beleagured utilities sector has created a lobby group to combat criticism over rising household energy bills.

Rising: consumer energy bills

The move comes as the colder weather sets in, with many Brits switching on their central heating.

Energy UK will unify communications from the sector's four trade bodies to ensure a more focused media approach. These trade bodies are the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Energy Retail Association, The Association of Eletricity Producers and the Energy Networks Association.

BBC News' science and environment correspondent Christine McGourty has become director of external affairs, overseeing all communications.

The body is expected to justify the price rise, by claiming the extra money is helping to clean up the polluting sector.

Last week, regulator Ofgem said that customers could see their domestic energy bills rise between 14 and 25 per cent by 2020. Wholesale price spikes, it said, could see an increase of 60 per cent in the interim period.

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