Energy crisis: Ed Miliband grilled on 'nationalisation' of companies

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Sir John Redwood, the MP for Wokingham, appeared to warn Mr Kwarteng against over-relying on imported gas and domestic wind energy. He believed that doing so would lead to a shortage of both gas and renewable sources of energy, which in turn would drive up energy bills.

He said: “The Business Secretary needs to understand shackling the UK to an EU energy system that is short of gas and reliable on electricity will mean high prices and shortages.

“Time to expand the domestic supply of gas and put in more systems that do not need the wind to blow.”

This comes as the business secretary is set to hold virtual meetings on Monday with energy suppliers, who are putting pressure on the Government to intervene to ease the unprecedented rises in consumers’ energy bills caused by soaring wholesale gas prices.

The energy industry is pushing for the Government to eliminate the five percent VAT on bills imposed when the UK was part of the European Union

Energy costs might soar as much as 50 percent in the spring because of climbing wholesale prices, trade body Energy UK claimed.

These skyrocketing energy prices are a “national crisis” that could leave millions unable to afford basic warmth, ministers have been warned by power chiefs.

Adam Scorer, chief executive of National Energy Action, said rocketing bills would be a “hammer blow” for vulnerable households.

Mr Scorer said: “Energy prices are a cataclysm hurtling toward us. They will be a hammer blow for the most vulnerable households.

“Millions will not be able to afford basic warmth and power. Families on tight budgets will be under unimaginable pressures.

“Levels of debt will rocket. More cold-related ill-health and early deaths are inevitable.

“Crossing your fingers and hoping it will be over quickly is no response.”

He joined Energy UK in calling on the Government to intervene with immediate support for the low-income households affected by the crisis.

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The current price cap on energy bills prevents companies from immediately passing on costs from rising wholesale power prices to their customers.

The price ceiling set by officials at the industry regulator Ofgem has been at a record £1,277 since October 1.

It is set to change on April 1 when the watchdog is expected to raise the cap significantly, which will, in turn, result in people’s bills rising.

Alex Belsham-Harris, principal policy manager at Citizens Advice, said: “Our advisers are already seeing people facing the desperate choice between heating and eating, and with energy bills set to soar next year this problem is only about to get worse.

“Right now the energy price cap is providing households with much-needed protection from rocketing energy bills. It’s also buying time for the Government to put in place measures to limit the financial pain of increased bills.”

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