The SNP has said “energy independence is the key to securing prosperity and lowering bills in Scotland” – amid warnings UK energy bills will remain high for the foreseeable future.
The Chief Executive of Centrica, which owns British Gas, has today warned only the ‘first act’ of the energy crisis is over, warning “prices are back down to pre-invasion levels but they’re still two and a half times the long run average”.
Under the new price cap, set by regulator Ofgem, typical households will still be paying £800 more for energy bills than they did in 2021 – and because the UK government has scrapped the Energy Bill Support Scheme, households no longer receive the £67 a month energy rebate.
Cornwall Insight has forecast that, while changes in the price cap are likely to mean energy bills for a typical household will be around £1,871 per year from October, this will rise again to £1,900 from January 2024.
Speaking to the BBC, Centrica Chief Executive Chris O’Shea also warned the UK has “nowhere near enough gas storage” with some of the lowest gas reserves in Europe.
Even with recent expansions, the UK will still only have 12 days of reserves for average usage, compared to 90 days in Germany, 103 days in France, and 123 days in the Netherlands.
Commenting, SNP Energy spokesperson Alan Brown MP said:
“The UK government must listen to these dire warnings and urgently get its act together to secure our energy supply and lower people’s bills.
“Scotland is an energy rich country but families are paying through the nose because the UK government has failed to invest in renewables, failed to match European energy reserves, and scrapped the household energy rebate in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
“The SNP is the only party offering real change and lower energy bills with independence – and energy independence is the key to securing prosperity and lowering bills in Scotland.
“The Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party have taken hundreds of billions from Scotland’s oil and gas wealth, while refusing to reinvest that money in Scotland’s communities.
“With Sunak and Starmer planning to carve up Scotland’s energy wealth all over again, the SNP is the only party that can be trusted to fight Scotland’s corner.
“At the next election, voting SNP is the only way to secure Scotland’s energy independence, tackle the cost of living, and get rid of unelected Tory governments for good.”