Climate targets to hit household bills

Households could face big rises in their energy bills under plans to reduce the role of fossil fuels and cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions by more than a third by 2020, the country's chief climate change adviser said on Monday.

The Committee on Climate Change said the price hike could push more than 1.7 million houses into fuel poverty, when families spend more than a tenth of their income on energy to keep warm.

Reaching its targets could lead to a 25 percent rise in electricity prices by 2022 and an 18 to 37 percent increase in gas prices by 2020, the committee said in its first report to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government.

Warnings of higher fuel bills come as Britain faces a deepening recession, with rising unemployment and plummeting house prices.

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