Truss sets out plans to secure energy supply and curb costs

The moratorium on fracking is to be lifted as part of a package of measures aimed at securing UK energy supplies and curtailing rising energy costs.


Speaking yesterday (Sept 8, 2022) in the House of Commons, PM Liz Truss set out an Energy Price Guarantee for household energy users and businesses, plus plans to boost domestic energy supply and make the UK an energy exporter by 2040.

Addressing Parliament, Truss said: “Decades of short-term thinking on energy has failed to focus enough on securing supply – with Russia’s war in Ukraine exposing the flaws in our energy security and driving bills higher. I’m ending this once and for all.”

Under the new plans, a typical UK household will pay no more than £2,500 a year on their energy bill for the next two years from 1st October, through a new Energy Price Guarantee – superseding the existing energy price cap - which limits the price suppliers can charge for units of gas.

A further saving of around £150 will come from temporarily removing green levies. The measures announced by Truss are expected to save the average household £1,000 a year based on current energy prices and comes in addition to the previously announced £400 energy bills discount for all households.

Costs will be covered by government, which will provide energy suppliers with the difference between the new lower price and what energy retailers would charge their customers. Schemes funded by green levies will continue to be funded by the government during this two-year period.

“This intervention is expected to curb inflation by up to five percentage points, bringing a reduction in the cost of servicing government debt,” said Truss.

A new six-month scheme for businesses and other non-domestic energy users including charities and public sector organisations will offer equivalent support to that provided for consumers.

“After those six months we will provide further support to vulnerable sectors, such as hospitality, including our local pubs,” said Truss. “My Rt Hon Friend the Business Secretary will work with businesses to review where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support. This review will be concluded within three months, giving businesses certainty.”

Commenting, Peter Hogg, UK Cities Director at Arcadis, said: “[This] announcement leaves the business sector on tenterhooks. Up and down the country, businesses – especially SMEs that employ so much of our workforce – are left with a double whammy of continuing uncertainty, no price cap and, as yet, no details on an assistance package. The government needs to make clear its plans for ‘equivalent support’ to business and do so soon."

Echoing these sentiments, Richard Singleton, finance director at Menzies LLP, said: “It is disappointing that the prime minister has not confirmed a long-term package of support for vulnerable businesses that have a higher energy demand. For these businesses, the uncertainty continues, and they will have to wait for a review to be completed in three months’ time before finding out if they are in line for further help or not.

“Energy-intensive manufacturers…and other businesses that typically operate around the clock have been considering plans to drastically reduce their operational footprint or shut down completely. This Energy Price Guarantee is unlikely to be enough to prevent them from considering such measures.”

Domestic energy

According to business and energy secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, Russia’s war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s weaponisation of energy and the aftermath of Covid have exposed the need to strengthen Britain’s energy security.

Plans to ensure a domestic energy supply, and to make the UK an energy exporter by 2040, include:

• Launch a new oil and gas licensing round as early as next week, expected to lead to over 100 new licences. • Lift the moratorium on UK shale gas production. This will enable developers to seek planning permission where there is local support, which could get gas flowing in as soon as six months. • Drive forward the acceleration of new sources of energy supply from North Sea oil and gas to clean energy like nuclear, wind and solar. • Continue progressing up to 24GW of nuclear by 2050, with Great British Nuclear helping to set direction of getting new nuclear projects online in the UK. • Undertake fundamental reforms to the structure and regulation of energy market through recommendations from a new review of the UK Energy Regulation. • Launch a review to ensure we are meeting our Net Zero 2050 target in an economically-efficient way, given the altered economic landscape. Chaired by Chris Skidmore MP and reporting by the end of this year, it will ensure delivering the target is not placing undue burdens on businesses or consumers. Source: BEIS