New PM and politicians urged to support genuine solutions to energy crisis

Houses of Parliament at night

The new Prime Minister, MPs and Peers are being urged to back calls by campaigners to lower energy bills.

A briefing to MPs and Peers from the Warm this Winter campaign calls on Parliamentarians to push for a coherent plan to wean the UK off gas through a national rollout of home insulation and affordable renewables.

The campaign is also demanding that the new government provides more direct emergency financial support for everyone this winter, but particularly low-income households.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented:

If the new Prime Minister is serious about dealing with energy bills and the long term issues of energy supply, the Government must back plans for lower energy bills now and in the future.

That means more emergency money for people this winter, funding to help everyone cut their bills with better insulation, and a rapid move away from expensive gas and onto cheaper, renewable energy.

Warm This Winter petition supporting the campaign’s demands has been signed by 120,000 people since it was launched last weekend.

The rapidly growing campaign is working with Peers to table a series of amendments to the Government’s flagship Energy Bill, which starts Committee Stage in the Lords today, that would force the new Prime Minister to reduce the UK’s dependency on global gas markets.

Briefing note to Members of Parliament – link here.

Briefing note on the Energy Bill for Members of the House of Lords – link here.

In response to the crisis, Liz Truss has pledged to “exploit all of the gas in the North Sea” as well as supporting fracking where there is the consent of communities.

Experts have warned that increasing domestic gas production would do next to nothing to lower energy bills. In a speech this week, Boris Johnson also expressed doubt that fracked gas would “prove to be a panacea” for the energy crisis. Instead, he noted that offshore wind is the cheapest form of electricity in the UK and is now nine times cheaper than UK gas.

Tessa Khan, director of Uplift said:

In every constituency across the country, households and businesses are looking at their energy bills with dread, knowing that they cannot fix this on their own.

Finally, MPs now have an opportunity to push for measures that will help people this winter and make sure the country is in a better position in winters to come.

Even if it were possible, more domestic gas won’t lower bills. All it will do is increase industry profits and lock us into an unaffordable energy source for longer than necessary.

Warm this Winter is a new campaign demanding the government acts now to help tackle rising energy bills this winter and to ensure energy is affordable for everyone in the future. It is supported by leading anti-poverty and environmental organisations, including Save the Children, WWF and the End Fuel Poverty Coalition. Its demands of government are:

  1. Emergency support now: Provide a new package of financial support to people who, without additional urgent action, will be on the front-line of poverty this winter.
  2. Help to upgrade homes: Launch a properly-funded programme of home upgrades and insulation across the UK to bring down bills and prevent energy waste.
  3. Cheap energy: More than triple the amount of renewable energy in the UK by 2030, including wind and solar generated in harmony with nature, so that we can permanently lower bills.
  4. Free us from oil and gas: Stop opening up new oil and gas fields so that we can escape our dependence on volatile fossil fuels.

Members of the Warm this Winter coalition wrote to the Conservative leadership candidates in July urging them to use the summer to come up with credible proposals for ensuring that every household could afford to heat their home this winter and – with gas prices expected to stay high until at least 2025 – for lowering energy costs in future.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition concluded:

We urge MPs to back these calls for genuine solutions to help people this winter and in future, and to ignore the special pleading of the oil and gas industry.

The seriousness of this crisis demands that they back measures that will tangibly make a difference to people’s lives.