Ed Miliband has highlighted his concerns over the prices currently facing the consumer, following his meeting with the top energy providers earlier this week, secretary for the department of energy and climate change.

Miliband said that he was pressing for retail prices to reflect changes in wholesale costs, and emphasised the need for “significant levels of investment” in the UK’s energy infrastructure over the next few years.

The cabinet secretary said: “I reiterated my concerns about findings in the Ofgem report on the energy supply market, about the charges facing electricity only customers and customers paying excessively high charges for their particular payment method. I made clear the importance the Government attaches to progress on these and other issues.”

Andrew Cripps, leader of Buro Happold’s sustainability and alternative technologies group, has said that, despite Miliband’s efforts, “the era of cheap energy is clearly over.”

"The importance of cutting the energy use of existing stock risks being overlooked. Smarter use should be made of existing energy sources"

Andrew Cripps, leader of Buro Happold’s Sustainability and Alternative Technologies Group

Cripps said: “With the need to reduce energy consumption and costs, the increased use of smart design tools and specification of intelligent building materials will be critical to delivering new, energy-efficient buildings. However, the importance of cutting the energy use of existing stock, risks being overlooked

“Smarter use should be made of existing energy sources, through the use of decentralised energy, involving co-generation and district power stations, and renewable energy sources should be employed as part of joined-up energy strategies.”

The energy companies have until 1 December to provide a formal response to Ofgen’s findings.