Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget Speech, Energy UK’s chief executive Emma Pinchbeck, said:
“It’s welcome news that the Government has confirmed that the Energy Price Guarantee will be held at £2,500 a year for a typical household – as we had been calling for along with consumer groups. By taking advantage of the falling costs of providing the scheme, this will provide welcome respite for customers – but it must be stressed that the end of the separate monthly rebate payments means they will still face significantly higher bills.
“We’re also pleased that prepayment customers will now pay the same rate as others with the Government stepping in to cover the extra costs to serve these customers until March 2024.
“If wholesale costs continue to fall, customers will see lower bills later this year – but these will still be much higher than before the current crisis. So the energy industry is urging the Government and Ofgem to work with us on putting in place targeted support – such as through a social tariff – to ensure bills are affordable for all households over the long term. On that score, we also hope that the [Energy Efficiency] Taskforce announced today represents a real and overdue commitment to improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses.
“The only long term route to bringing down bills is through a rapid expansion of clean, cheap, homegrown power and reducing our dependence on the expensive fossil fuels that have led to record bills over the last year. While the funding for Carbon Capture projects and the commitment to small nuclear reactors is welcome, the Government must now act to address growing concerns over rising costs, supply chain difficulties, a poorly designed windfall tax, and planning and infrastructure delays that all threaten the billions of pounds of investment needed for the build out of low carbon generation*.”