Kwasi Kwarteng Says The Energy Price Cap Will Not Be Moved
3 min read
Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed that the price cap on consumer energy bills will not be changed or removed this winter.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, the Energy Secretary said the cap is essential “to protect consumers”.
“I’ve been very resolute and clear, the price cap stays,” Kwarteng said.
“The price cap was set in August for the six-month period between October 1 and April 1. That’s not going to change, and I’ve been very clear about that,” he added.
The Energy Secretary explained that maintaining the cap will protect consumers from “wild spikes in prices”.
“What I can do is provide as much support as I can for industry and consumers and as you all know the key lever – the key way we can protect consumers – is through the price cap,” he added.
Kwarteng’s decision comes as the UK faces record high energy prices this autumn and winter.
In the past year the cost of gas has quadrupled, leading some energy firms to collapse and nearly 1.5 million customers without a supplier.
Ofgem, the energy regulator responsible for setting caps, has warned costs could significantly rise when a new cap is due to be set in April next year.
Discussing the pricing crisis, Kwarteng told Marr there are no issues with energy supply in Britain.
“The energy supply is not an issue,” Kwarteng said.
“We’ve got security of supplies, we’ve got flowing sources of gas and electricity, we’ve got a diversity in terms of our electricity generation mix. We’ve got a bit of nuclear; we’ve got renewables, we’ve got gas. Through that mix I think we’ve got a great deal of resilience.”
Also speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Shadow Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry accused the government of being reactive and failing to sufficiently plan in a way that would’ve prevented the crisis from occurring in the first place.
“We shouldn’t be in a situation where we wait until there’s a crisis and then react,” Thornberry said. “We need to have proper planning.”
“[Labour] was making sure there were new nuclear power stations, we were making sure that we had gas storage, we were making sure that we were insulating homes. All of these things were happening… when we were in power these were the plans we had – the government cut those.
“We now have another wave of crisis this government has wave after wave of crises."
Thornberry refused to rule out supporting an energy price cap for industry and businesses in addition to consumers, something Kwarteng is yet to confirm he will introduce.
The Shadow Trade Secretary told Marr: “What we need to be doing is listening to business and frankly if there is a strong case being made, we need to take it seriously.
“[Labour] is having meetings with industry and we are considering what the best way forward is. We should not be in a position where we are always having to respond at the very last minute to crises.”
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