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Energy plan will ‘bring immediate relief’, but suppliers call for more action

·2-min read

The Government’s plans on energy bills will “bring immediate relief” to struggling families, the boss of the UK’s biggest energy supplier has said.

Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, promised to continue donating 10% of profits to help vulnerable households.

These households are still facing doubled energy bills despite the support announced on Thursday.

“We know people are deeply worried about the increase in their energy bills this winter,” Mr O’Shea said.

“Extraordinary circumstances call for us all to think differently and we know this bold customer support package from the new Prime Minister and Chancellor will bring immediate relief to hard-pressed households.”

It comes after Prime Minister Liz Truss announced a support package that will cap bills at £2,500 for the average household from the start of October.

It takes off the pressure for now, said Energy UK, the trade body for energy suppliers,

“We shouldn’t forget, though, that many households are already struggling with the bill rises so far, and wider cost-of-living challenges, and suppliers continue to do all they can to provide extra support to those that need it most,” said its director of advocacy, Dhara Vyas.

She called for focus to now turn to bringing down costs for customers by insulating Britain’s leaky housing stock and investing in wind and solar power.

But Truss’s plan included no new promises on renewable energy, instead focusing on fracking and North Sea oil and gas. It also included nothing on insulation or other forms of energy efficiency.

Ofgem boss Jonathan Brearley said: “Ofgem welcomes this significant and unprecedented support for energy consumers across the country.”

“It’s been clear to Ofgem and the Government since we announced the new price cap that the new Government would have to act urgently and decisively to support consumers and this package of support will be welcomed by millions across Britain.”

ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson said: “Now we have an immediate solution for households the energy industry needs to lead a three-pronged attack to tackle the issue at source by weaning the country off fossil fuels, doubling down on cheap, clean renewables and, importantly, decoupling electricity prices from gas.”