By Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Executive
Today’s announcement by the new Prime Minister will offer relief to worried households and businesses across the UK.
The size and scale of the rise in October and the projections for January and beyond - fuelled by Putin’s determination to use energy to blackmail the west - has resulted in customers caught in the crossfire.
That’s why this unprecedented crisis has required unprecedented solutions.
Prime Minister Liz Truss and her new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have taken quick and decisive action in their new roles devising a plan in step with the emergency faced.
The Energy Price Guarantee is clear, simple for people to understand and, importantly, can quickly be put in place for October which keeps prices down ahead of winter.
It also means there’s no one falling between the gaps or caught in a loophole of eligibility.
With costs increasing across the board, not just in energy, it gives breathing space whilst the Government and energy industry get on and deal with the longer-term issues to help wean the UK off expensive and volatile fossil fuels, decouple electricity costs from gas prices and reform the energy market.
The linking of gas and electricity prices is a system designed for the issues of the past when coal and gas were the predominant sources of power.
As our electricity system changed this was always going to need reformed but this crisis has propelled that need forward at pace – and we must get on with it.
The Prime Minister was also clear that renewables are a huge part of the solution, reasserting the Government’s commitment to delivering net zero and indeed, turning the UK into a net energy exporter by 2040.
ScottishPower is a 100% renewables business, investing £10bn in the infrastructure needed for a low carbon future, and work here has already started in support of the Government’s ambition.
We see this intervention as a three-pronged attack; deal with the immediate cost issue here and now, work to separate gas and electricity prices and get on with building even more cheap, clean and homegrown renewable electricity to ensure we’re not beholden to others.
There is no doubt we’re in the midst of turbulent times, but the encouraging news is the UK has the solutions to deal with it, the Government is clear in its resolve to tackle it and the energy sector is mobilising to deliver on it.