Today (26 May) Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined a cost-of-living support package, including measures the UK Government will take in response to rising energy bills.
The announcement included a windfall tax on energy companies and £15 billion of extra support for UK households. Every household in England, Scotland and Wales will receive a discount of £400 on energy bills from October, with further support for pensioners and the lowest income households.
Mike Thornton, chief executive, Energy Saving Trust, said: “In the face of unprecedented energy price increases, unprecedented action is required. We therefore welcome government bringing forward a package of measures to provide direct financial support to low-income and vulnerable households struggling to pay their energy bills.
“Funding this is in part by a temporary levy on the unexpected profits of oil and gas extraction companies is a pragmatic solution. It is vital for these companies to maintain investment into renewable energy projects to further reduce our reliance on volatile fossil fuel markets and cut carbon emissions.
“Saving energy is more cost-effective than generating energy and funding for insulation would further help reduce energy use and costs in both the short and long term. It would also accelerate progress towards the decarbonisation of the UK’s homes. We would therefore like to have seen at least half of the money that the tax will raise committed to energy efficiency improvements through a nationwide retrofit programme, starting with the lowest income households.
“While the measures announced today will provide some welcome relief for many families across the country, this energy crisis is far from over. Government must not lose sight of the need to address energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels in the long term to reduce costs and tackle the climate emergency.”
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