The Government has warned energy companies that the current cold weather is "no excuse" for putting up electricity and gas bills.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey says predictions of big increases in bills as a result of the current "tightness" in the gas market brought about by wintry conditions are "wildly wrong" (see the Cheap Gas and Electricity guide for tips on cutting costs).

Davey says: "Some of the reporting saying there is going to be a big increase in consumer bills because of this particular short-term tightness in the market, I think is wildly wrong.

"We will make it clear to energy suppliers that this just is a temporary cold snap, there is no excuse for putting up energy bills.

"They should always minimise the impact of these types of things on consumer bills."

He also repeated Government assurances over supplies, saying Britain is not running out of gas.

However, a Government report released today says wholesale gas and electricity costs currently make up the largest proportion of an average household energy bill. It warns consumers will continue to face rising energy bills as wholesale costs are increasing.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker insisted earlier this week that current high gas prices show the energy market is "working" (see the 'Gas price hikes show market's working' MSE News story).

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