Thank you for contacting me about the forthcoming energy supply strategy.

I agree with you on this important issue. We need to reduce gas use by insulating homes, rapidly accelerate the roll-out of renewables and provide proper support for people being hit by soaring energy bills.

At least nine million households are paying more for their energy now because of a collapse in home insulation rates following Government cuts to insulation programmes in 2012. If the Government’s energy strategy is to have any credibility therefore, it must deliver on energy efficiency. This is the most effective way to reduce our demand for fossil fuels, bring down carbon emissions and cut energy bills. I support proposals for £60 billion of investment over ten years to bring all homes up to energy performance certificate band C. This would save families £400 a year on their energy bills and cut national gas imports by up to 15%.

To guarantee our energy security, meanwhile, I believe we also need to make a dash for renewables. We need to end the Government’s effective moratorium on onshore wind – which since 2015 has effectively lost us clean power capacity equal to all our Russian gas imports over that time – and instead double capacity to 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. We should also increase offshore wind capacity to at least 75GW by 2035, triple solar power by 2030, embrace tidal power and invest further in hydrogen.

Finally, it is vital that we do more to protect households from soaring energy bills. Since January, I have supported calls for a windfall tax on the profits of North Sea oil and gas producers to help fund a support package for families facing a cost-of-living crisis. This would include immediately reducing VAT on energy bills to zero, smoothing the costs of energy supplier failure, and increasing and extending the warm home discount. It would see families and pensioners on the lowest and modest incomes supported by up to £600. Unfortunately, the Chancellor continues to reject this plan. I believe this is the wrong choice when people are struggling and oil and gas companies are making record profits.

Thank you once again for contacting me. I can assure you I will continue to support efforts to press the Government on this issue.

Three small red houses on blue stilts
Three small red houses on blue stilts
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