The increase in energy prices caused by Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine has been felt right across the world, including in communities such as our own.
To help support people at this time, the Government has been taking action to provide immediate help and to ensure enhanced UK energy resilience for the future.
In 2023-24, households on eligible means-tested benefits will receive up to £900 in Cost of Living Payments. One in four families across the UK will receive this support, including some 13,600 families in Crawley.
A separate £150 payment will be made to individuals in receipt of eligible disability benefits including Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in the summer with 9,200 eligible individuals in Crawley to receive this Disability Cost of Living Payment.
The Energy Price Guarantee, which discounts the unit cost for gas and electricity use, has also been extended and provides certainty with bills. Following the Budget in March, I questioned the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Parliament on how people on lower incomes will benefit from fuel duty being frozen for the 13th consecutive year.
The Household Support Fund ensures councils can provide discretionary support to local residents. West Sussex County Council will receive more than £9.7 million in the latest round of the Household Support Fund, taking the total level of support for West Sussex through this fund to over £24.3 million.
Earlier this year the Prime Minister created the new Department for Energy Security & Net Zero: this has been tasked with securing the UK’s long-term energy supply, bringing down bills and halving inflation.
Central to this work is the Energy Bill which was debated in the House of Commons last week.
The Bill will increase resilience and reliability of energy systems in this country, as well as supporting delivery of Britain’s climate change commitments. It will also go to reform the UK energy system while minimising costs to consumers and ensuring protections from unfair pricing.
As Crawley MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation the issue of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is one I have continued to follow up on with ministers.
Last month the Department for Transport stated it remains on track to achieve its wider aim of at least five commercial-scale SAF plants under construction in the UK by 2025, and in the Commons last week I asked the Nuclear & Networks Minister for an update in achieving this goal.
This legislation seeks to reform our energy system, ensure its safety, security and resilience, and liberate investment in clean technologies. There is no time to lose.
Henry Smith MP