Affordable Energy: Winter 2022-23

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 11:33 am on 7 June 2022.

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Photo of Judith Cummins Judith Cummins Labour, Bradford South 11:33, 7 June 2022

What steps his Department is taking to help ensure affordable energy provision during winter 2022-23.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Government have announced a package of support measures totalling over £37 billion this year. It includes a £400 grant to households to help them with their energy bills when that is needed most.

Photo of Judith Cummins Judith Cummins Labour, Bradford South

Two weeks ago, we found out that we have a huge surplus of national gas but nowhere to store it. That was swiftly followed by the announcement that as many as 6 million households face power cuts this winter because of gas shortages. Will the Minister give a guarantee today that this Government can keep the lights on for both households and industry this winter? A business in my constituency told me that its energy bills have soared from £7 million to £35 million. What support are the Government giving to those energy-intensive industries?

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

There is a lot in that question, but the scenario the hon. Lady paints is very extreme. She will know that we are looking actively at what we can do on the storage side. On producing energy, I find it a bit rich of the Labour party to criticise us. This is the party that said, in 1997, that there was no economic case for new nuclear power stations; the party that increased, rather than cut, our dependence on gas, which went from accounting for 32% of our electricity generation to 46% of it; and the party that failed to invest in renewables, which, over 10 years, have gone from accounting for 7% of our electricity generation to 43% of it. We will take no lessons from the Opposition on helping people with energy generation and with their bills.