The UK government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change failed to spend nearly 14 per cent of its budget in the last financial year – the biggest proportional underspend of any government office.
According to figures from the Treasury, DECC saved around £400m (£622m) in the 2011-2012 financial year.
The news has infuriated renewables companies and trade groups, which opposed caps to the solar feed-in tariffs, and also bodies such as The Carbon Trust and Energy Savings Trust, which both took deep cuts to their budgets.
A spokesman for DECC insisted there was “not £400m underspent sitting around the department”. He told BusinessGreen that the savings were the result of higher than expected income from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
Last year the NDA earned £1.26bn, which caused it to underspend its programme budget by £176m.