THE TORY Energy Secretary has admitted the Government’s nuclear plans may increase household energy bills.

Kwasi Kwarteng conceded the Tory push for new nuclear power plants could see energy bills go up despite the Government’s failure to introduce immediate measures to tackle the cost of living crisis.

Challenged on the impact of plans to pump millions into nuclear energy, the minister told the BBC the plans “might have a small effect” on household energy prices.

He said current investments in hydrogen were seeing an extra £30 added to utility costs but would not be drawn on putting an exact figure on the potential knock-on effect of nuclear investment.

The UK Government revealed its delayed energy strategy earlier this year, pledging up to eight new nuclear reactors by 2030.

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Atomic plans have been branded a “con” by opponents who say renewables give better value for money for ratepayers.

The SNP’s energy spokesperson Alan Brown said investing in new nuclear, despite being hailed as having the potential to eventually slash bills, fails to tackle the immediate cost of living crisis facing the country.

He said: “These nuclear facilities, that came with grandiose promises of cheaper bills, could take decades to build and become operational - that isn’t good enough for the families whose energy bills are out of control now in 2022. 

“Worst of all, the new stations will tie billpayers into a 60-year contract payback, with capital and finance costs of a new station estimated to be as high as £63 billion according the Tory government’s own impact assessment.

“We are already in a position where households are having to decide between heating or eating, they need immediate direct action to reduce their astronomical bills, not another Tory con-trick that could actually lead to increased bills down the line.

“We have evidence that there are better, cheaper, and more sustainable ways to go - and the Tories need only to look as far as Scotland to learn some valuable lessons.

“Scotland’s renewables sector produced enough electricity last year alone to power the entire country for a whole three years, providing the best value for money in a safe and environmentally conscious way.”

Kwarteng told the BBC on Thursday nuclear energy guaranteed the country power “grown here”.

READ MORE: Energy-rich Scotland does not need new nuclear power plants

He added: “Any British energy minister has to look at domestic security and that’s what nuclear is about, and also sustainability.

“And there is no doubt that in the medium-term, that will give us cheaper power.

“I can’t tell you at what precise date your bills are going to be lowered because there are all sorts of other factors determining the price.

“We could be in a world in five years where oil price or the gas price is much higher than it is, it could be much lower, I can’t predict that.

“But what I can say is that nuclear power gives us a firm, decarbonised, continuous electricity, grown here, sourced here in the UK.”