Social Energy Tariff

Energy Security and Net Zero – in the House of Commons at on 27 February 2024.

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Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration)

What recent assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of introducing a social energy tariff.

Photo of Chris Law Chris Law Scottish National Party, Dundee West

What recent assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of introducing a social energy tariff.

Photo of Claire Coutinho Claire Coutinho The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

Energy prices are now at their lowest level for two years, with a typical bill set to drop by £238 by April. Our cost of living package totals over £104 billion, or £3,700 per household on average, over 2022 to 2025. We are supporting those most in need, with millions of vulnerable households receiving up to £900 in cost of living payments.

Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration)

Some of us believe in preventative spending. A House of Commons Library briefing last year estimated that the annual cost to the national health service of treating illnesses associated with living in cold or damp housing is £1.4 billion. When wider societal costs are considered, that figure rises to £15.4 billion. Will the Secretary of State confirm whether the introduction of a social energy tariff would cost less than £15.4 billion?

Photo of Claire Coutinho Claire Coutinho The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

A social tariff means lots of things to different people, but we are supporting vulnerable people with the cost of their energy bills. We supported them last winter, paying on average a half of everybody’s energy bills, and we have made additional payments of £900 to support people. Since 2010, we have increased the proportion of homes that are energy-efficient and insulated to 50%, up from 14%.

Photo of Virginia Crosbie Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn

On energy tariffs, what assessment has the Secretary of State made of the merits of providing residents who are local to energy and nuclear plants with discounts on their energy bills?

Photo of Claire Coutinho Claire Coutinho The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

I thank my hon. Friend for her doughty campaigning for nuclear—she is our very own atomic kitten. We are very positive about nuclear and have set out plans for the largest expansion of nuclear for 70 years. Overall that will be a good thing for people’s energy bills and the energy security of this country.