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News 21 November 2023

What we need from the 2023 autumn statement

With energy prices forecast to rise again from January, helping people with their energy bills and ensuring long-term energy security should be high on the agenda of the Chancellor’s November 2023 autumn statement this week.

Mike Thornton, our chief executive, said: “The impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and conflict in the Middle East on energy prices highlights the UK’s overreliance on volatile fossil fuel markets.

“However, the UK Government’s recent decisions to water down net zero policies and invest in oil and gas sends the wrong signals to industry and the public.

“As well as a vital opportunity to lay out long term plans for investment in truly sustainable low carbon energy generation projects, this autumn statement is an opportunity for the UK Government to recognise the repeated calls to incentivise the reduction of energy use in the first place.

“This would bring down energy bills for the short and long term, increase energy security and lower carbon emissions.

“Rumours of a green stamp duty rebate for new homeowners and an extension to VAT relief on energy efficiency home improvements would be welcome. However, policies must go further to address energy demand and the inefficiency of our homes.

“A robust and widespread retrofit programme supported by an impartial, tailored national advice service in England would give people more confidence to make changes in their homes and encourage green finance products to support improvements. Reducing demand for energy would in turn support a more rapidly decarbonised grid.

“The UK Government says the UK is leading the way on reducing carbon emissions, but the climate emergency is escalating at pace and energy bills remain high. Action taken across the UK in the next decade will decide whether we are leaders in the transition to net zero or must play catch up. Time is running out to secure the future of our country and the planet.”

Last updated: 21 November 2023