Thank you to all those who contacted me about the energy crisis and the action we need to help people keep their homes warm.
From 1 January 2024, energy bills rose again to a level that is unaffordable for many families. Despite this, I am concerned that the Government appears to have no plans for reducing bills. In the King’s Speech on 7 November 2023, instead of announcing legislation that would help cut energy bills such as ending the ban on onshore wind or providing for a proper programme of energy efficiency measures, the Government set out an energy policy that will not take a penny off of the price households pay for energy.
It is for this reason that I support calls to close the loopholes and bring in a proper windfall tax on oil and gas giants to help tackle the cost-of-living crisis right now. It is wrong to continue to leave on the table billions of pounds from oil and gas companies that could be used to provide greater support to households when so many people are still wondering how they are going to make ends meet when faced with their energy bills.
I also agree that we need rapid action when it comes to retrofitting housing. That is why I support a Warm Homes Plan that would reduce energy demand by insulating 19 million homes across the country over the next decade.
In addition, I agree that we need to accelerate the deployment of cheap, homegrown renewables to reduce bills in the longer term. I therefore support plans to deliver a fossil fuel-free electricity system by 2030, including by quadrupling offshore wind, more than tripling solar power and more than doubling our onshore wind capacity, as well as establishing a publicly owned clean energy company to make Britain an energy independent superpower. These plans would save billions of pounds for UK households every year.
In March 2023, I met with local campaigners from the Warm This Winter campaign to hear their concerns and outline Labour’s plan for cheaper energy and warmer homes. I will continue to support efforts to press the Government for the action we desperately need on this issue.