One size fits all on energy prices won't help

 Simon Jupp MP opening the new UK headquarters of Unitherm Heating Systems in Sowton.

Simon Jupp MP opening the new UK headquarters of Unitherm Heating Systems in Sowton. - Credit: Simon Jupp

Talking East Devon with MP Simon Jupp.

MP Simon Jupp.

MP Simon Jupp. - Credit: Remy Osman

We have all noticed our bills go up this month after a worldwide squeeze on energy prices pushed up the price of gas.

Standard tariff customers are facing an average increase of £693 – from £1,277 to £1,971 per year. Wholesale prices have risen even higher since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which is the world's largest natural gas exporter.

The government has brought in measures to help cushion the impact for customers with rebates on their bills, targeted to those that need it most.

Even so, I’m acutely aware that these energy price rises are causing a lot of worry. It is clear in a number of emails I’ve had from residents, all asking same sensible question: if prices have gone up by only four per cent in France, why have prices gone up by 54 per cent in the UK?

The answer is arguably two-fold. First, France owns EDF, so have the ruse of making up the difference from taxpayers. Second, more of France’s power source is from domestic nuclear power.

More domestic power means we could do much more to take control of energy prices and protect from price spikes.

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The UK government’s Energy Security Strategy announced a major acceleration of homegrown power through a quicker expansion of nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, oil, and gas.

I recognise the need to act to ensure cheaper bills as quickly as possible. But I know that a one-size fits all approach won’t work for everyone.

I am keen to see how communities will be consulted over onshore wind. Residents deserve to have their voice heard over the future of their local area.

I would like to see developers put solar on new builds to restrict the need for solar farms, but I recognise there are concerns about the impact on new property prices.

We also have to ensure we have the right technology to suit every home. Heat pumps are fantastic, but they won’t suit every property, particularly larger and older ones.

We can enjoy greater energy self-sufficiency with cheaper bills if we get it right.