Energy crisis – live: Kwarteng admits ‘very difficult winter’ ahead amid fear of blackouts as gas prices soar – The Independent

‘We’re focused on helping the vulnerable’ – Kwarteng on energy crisis

The government’s cap on energy prices looks set to rise by a further £178 per year from April 2022 as gas prices soar, according to modelling from researchers at a market intelligence agency.

Cornwall Insight’s researchers expect the price cap will be raised to £1,455 for the six months from the beginning of April next year.

This would be a 14 per cent rise from the already record-breaking £1,277 that customers will pay between October and April, and up £317 from current levels.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, meanwhile, has said any support for large energy companies taking on customers from those which have gone bust will not be “a blank cheque”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Any support for those larger companies will be in terms of working capital, will be a loan, it won’t be just a grant, it won’t be just a blank cheque.

“It will be something where – if we do have this facility, if we do have this policy – they will be expected to pay back the loans, whereas in the case of a bailout, that’s what it is. It’s just a bailout where you grant money, taxpayers’ money, and the taxpayer doesn’t see any return from that.”

1632223604

Everything you need to know about the UK’s energy and gas price crisis

My colleague Sinead Butler over on our sister site Indy100 has put together a guide explaining everything you need to know about the UK’s energy and gas price crisis.

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 12:26

1632221147

Energy price cap should ‘remain in place’, Ofgem and business secretary insist

The government and energy companies have agreed that an energy price cap should “remain in place” during crisis talks to find a solution to surging gas costs.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held a meeting with the industry before announcing to the Commons that ministers would not be bailing out energy firms and that the energy price cap would be “staying”.

My colleague Joe Middleton has the full story:

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 11:45

1632219274

No ‘blank cheque’ for large energy companies taking on customers from collapsed firms

Any support for large energy companies taking on customers from those which collapsed will not be “a blank cheque”.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast earlier today: “Any support for those larger companies will be in terms of working capital, will be a loan, it won’t be just a grant, it won’t be just a blank cheque.

“It will be something where – if we do have this facility, if we do have this policy – they will be expected to pay back the loans, whereas in the case of a bailout, that’s what it is. It’s just a bailout where you grant money, taxpayers’ money, and the taxpayer doesn’t see any return from that.”

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 11:14

1632217894

Boris Johnson admits he cannot rule out restrictions and disruption at Christmas

Boris Johnson has admitted he cannot guarantee a normal Christmas this year, as Britain grapples with disruption to goods supplies caused by gas price hikes and shortages of lorry drivers, as well as the potential of another spike in coronavirus cases.

The prime minister insisted it was “very much not the plan” to cancel Christmas for a second year in succession, after he ordered Britons to avoid family get-togethers as the Kent variant of Covid-19 sent cases soaring last December.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more details:

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 10:51

1632216900

Energy price cap could rise by £178 per year from 2022, researchers suggest

The government’s cap on energy prices looks set to rise by a further £178 per year from April 2022 as gas prices soar, according to modelling from researchers at Cornwall Insight, a market intelligence agency.

The agency’s researchers expect the price cap will be raised to £1,455 for the six months from the beginning of April.

This would be a 14 per cent rise from the already record-breaking £1,277 that customers will pay between October and April, and up £317 from current levels.

Senior consultant Dr Craig Lowrey said: “Although the winter 2021-22 cap was a new record (£1,277 for a typical dual fuel direct debit customer), Cornwall Insight modelling indicates that – given the extent of the increases in the wholesale market and the manner in which the cap is set – this is set to be surpassed by that for summer 2022.”

The forecasts also predicted that prices would remain high – at £1,416 – next winter.

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 10:35

1632215887

Next few months could be ‘very difficult winter’ for those hit by benefit cuts, business secretary says

The next few months could end up being “a very difficult winter” for those hit by benefit cuts, tax hikes, and rising household bills, the business secretary has said.

Kwasi Kwarteng acknowledged “vulnerable customers” of energy companies would be facing a difficult situation over the winter, especially if they relied on Universal Credit to make ends meet.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has more details:

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 10:18

1632214367

Some families will have to choose between eating and heating homes, business secretary admits

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted there would be families this winter who would have to choose between eating and heating their homes.

Mr Kwarteng was appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain when host Susanna Reid told him families would face “the choice between heating their homes and staying warm or eating, parents who may forego meals in order to feed their kids”.

She said: “You need to be able to offer them some hope.”

The business secretary replied: “You’re right, and that’s why I’m very keen to keep the warm home discount and also there are other winter fuel payments that we’re looking at.”

Asked whether he had asked chancellor Rishi Sunak to raise the warm home discount, he said: “We have discussions about the budget, and you will see what happens in the budget. I can’t possibly pre-empt or anticipate what will be in that budget ahead of time, you’ll appreciate that.”

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 09:52

1632213000

Propping up UK’s biggest CO2 supplier would only ever be temporary, says Kwarteng

Propping up the UK’s biggest supplier of CO2 would only ever be on a temporary basis, the business secretary has said.

Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme any assistance was still being discussed after he spoke to the chief executive of CF Industries twice in the last two days.

But he said: “Time is of the essence, and that’s why I spoke to the CEO, speaking to him twice in the last two days, and we’re hopeful that we can get something sorted today and get the production up and running in the next few days.”

Mr Kwarteng said “it will come at some cost… it may come at some cost, we’re still hammering out details, we’re still looking at a plan”.

But he added: “I have to say if there is support provided, that will be on a temporary basis, that’s not something that we want to do indefinitely.”

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 09:30

1632212226

Not every energy company can expect government bailout, says Kwarteng

The business secretary has said not every energy company can expect a government bailout.

Speaking on Times Radio, Kwasi Kwarteng said: “I think one of the things I’ve established as a principle is that I don’t believe taxpayers’ money should be funnelled into companies that have been badly run.

“So … not every company in the sector can expect the government bailouts. I’ve been very clear about that.”

He added: “The way that markets work is the badly-run companies often go out of business, that’s a natural process.”

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 09:17

1632211200

Kwasi Kwarteng hopes to have ‘very clear plan’ to get CO2 production up and running this week

The business secretary said he hoped to have a “very clear plan” to get CO2 production back up and running this week.

Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News he was “confident” of a resolution and “it’s pretty imminent”, adding the CO2 situation was “critical”.

He said: “I’m very confident and hopeful that we can sort it out by the end of the week.”

Mr Kwarteng said: “I think we have to have a diversity of sources of carbon dioxide there. CF isn’t the only company that manufactures carbon dioxide.

“They have a big share of market, I said they weren’t the only one. But they are … a big part of the carbon dioxide market.”

Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 09:00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *