Labour: Price cap rise a “stark reminder” energy bills crisis “not gone away”

Elliot Chappell

Ed Miliband has commented that the rise in the energy price cap to £4,279 from January is a “stark reminder that the energy bills crisis has not gone away”.

Ofgem revealed this morning that the price cap will increase by £730 for the three months from the start of next year. The government’s energy price guarantee (EPG) will limit typical household bills to £2,500, however.

Jeremy Hunt announced in the government’s autumn statement last week’s that the EPG will be lifted to £3,000 for a typical household from April. Labour’s Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero Secretary warned today that “millions of people will be wondering how they will afford £3,000 bills”.

“It is plain wrong that Rishi Sunak is giving multi-billion pound tax breaks to oil and gas companies – money that could be used to help families. It is also shameful that this government is waiting three years to start a proper home insulation programme,” Miliband said.

“Labour’s warm homes plan would have helped eight million pensioners and families save up to £1,000 on their annual bills by the time Rishi Sunak has even lifted a finger.”

The opposition has been urging the government to adopt its ‘warm homes plan‘, announced last year in a bid to reduce energy bills and make the UK more energy independent, which includes insulating 19 million homes over the next decade.

Average household bills were limited to £1,277 a year ago, under the regulator’s price cap. That had been due to rise to £3,549 from October. Former Prime Minister Liz Truss intervened to introduce the EPG for two years. Hunt later announced that this would only be guaranteed for a period of six months.

Under the EPG, the government provides energy suppliers with the difference between the unit rate under the EPG and the price cap announced by the regulator today; what they would have charged their customers had EPG not been in place.

“Only Labour can bring down bills once and for all, with our plan to make Britain a clean energy superpower, including GB Energy – a publicly owned energy generation company that will cut bills, create jobs, and take back control of our energy,” the Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero Secretary added.

Keir Starmer used his conference speech in September to announce that his party would create a publicly owned energy company “within the first year of a Labour government” that “takes advantage of the opportunities in clean British power”.

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