HOUSEHOLD energy bills could rise by 7 a year to ensure Britain is safe from future blackouts.
The National Grid yesterday invited energy suppliers to bid to supply extra power when demand is highest.
Funded by UK households, the capacity auctions could cost up to 3billion, but experts claim they are vital if blackouts are to be prevented.
Steve Holliday, who was in charge of the National Grid for a decade until last year, said: The lights havent gone out yet.
And thanks to the measures the government is putting in place this week, they definitely wont go out in future.
The UK has one of the most stable supplies of electricity in Europe.
The cost per household could hit 7 a year but it is hoped it will eventually fall to 2 a year.
The auctions were originally due to supply back-up from next year, but they have been bought forward to cover from late 2017.
Successful bidders will be paid for keeping power stations available from November to February even if they are not generating.
Lobbyist Jeremy Nicholson, of the Energy Intensive Users Group, said: The capacity issue is sorted now frankly it should have happened five to ten years ago.
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