Weekly News Review - 18th November 2022

Energy bills to rise to £3,000 a year from April

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced further support for energy costs in his Autumn Statement, though annual bills are set to increase to £3,000 from April. A typical household bill is currently set at £2,500 until the end of March but the increase in gas and electricity prices in the past few months has been reflected in Thursday’s announcement.

Analysis by consultancy Cornwall Insight has found that without the support announced by Mr Hunt average bills would have increased to around £3,740. The Office for National Statistics has also said that without the support the rate of inflation would have been close to 14% instead of 11.1%

Although the typical household will see an annual bill of about £3,000 from April, this does not mean bills will be capped. It is the price per unit of electricity and gas that will be capped so if a household uses more than the average amount of energy then their bills will exceed the £3,000 figure.

The chancellor also announced further cost-of-living payments for the most vulnerable. The payment to low-income households on means-tested benefits is set to increase to £900, which is £250 more than the equivalent payment this winter.

Additional support announced includes £300 for pensioners, £150 for people on disability benefits and £200 for people using heating oil or alternative fuels. Councils will also receive a share of £1bn to help those “who might otherwise fall through the cracks”.

In the Autumn Statement Mr Hunt also extended the windfall tax on oil and gas companies which will see an increase from 25% to 35%, extended for another two years until 2028. An additional 45% tax was also announced on companies generating electricity from older wind and solar farms as well as older nuclear power stations.

Government approves Sizewell C and plans £6bn to insulate UK houses

In his Autumn Statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed the Government’s plans to back the Sizewell C nuclear power station as well as announcing a £6bn fund to improve energy efficiency in UK homes. The fund will be used to insulate homes and upgrade boilers between 2025 and 2028 and is in additional to the £6.6bn available during this parliament.

Mr Hunt said: “Over the long term, there is only one way to stop ourselves being at the mercy of international gas prices: energy independence combined with energy efficiency.”

The chancellor said that contracts would be signed in the “coming weeks” with partners in the project, which includes French energy firm EDF. The £30bn project had originally been approved by Boris Johnson shortly before the end of his leadership. However, speculation around Mr Hunt’s planned tax rises and spending cuts had cast doubt over the power station’s future.

Mr Hunt said: “Britain is a global leader in renewable energy” but stated “we need to go further, with a major acceleration of home-grown technologies like offshore wind, carbon capture and storage, and, above all, nuclear”.

The chancellor added: “This will deliver new jobs, industries, and export opportunities and secure the clean, affordable energy we need to power our future economy and reach net zero by 2050. So I can today announce that the Government will proceed with the new nuclear plant at Sizewell C.”

However, campaign group Stop Sizewell C said:  “If the Chancellor is looking for cheap, reliable, energy independence, he is backing the wrong project, as Sizewell C’s ultimate cost and technical reliability are very uncertain and building it is reliant on French state-owned EDF.”

“Greenlighting Sizewell C also loads more tax onto struggling households, who would be forced to pay a nuclear levy on bills for a decade before they could light a single lightbulb.”

Want to talk about how this weeks news affects you?

Get in Touch Today

If you wanted to talk about any of the news items we have shared this week and how it could affect you and your organisation, then get in touch with our teams today.

  • From time to time, we would like to contact you about our products and services, as well as other content that may be of interest to you. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick below to say how you would like us to contact you:

  • You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information on how we use your data, please review our Privacy Policy.

    By clicking submit below, you consent to allow EIC to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.

Our offices will be closed for the Bank Holiday (Monday 29 August 2022).
If you have a query, please contact us from Tuesday 30 August onwards, and we
will be happy to deal with your query then.