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Energy Bills

Volume 585: debated on Thursday 4 September 2014

Energy bills are a real concern for many households, so we are helping people with them by providing direct financial help, encouraging competition, and supporting energy efficiency measures. Last December, we reviewed Government policy costs and made changes to take an average of £50 a year off a household’s bill, and we are making it easier to shop around, switch, and get the best deal. We are also providing direct financial help to the most vulnerable through the warm home discount, which will take £140 directly off the energy bills of more than 2 million of the poorest households this year.

Gas and electricity prices are falling, but bills are not, and profits for domestic suppliers doubled in the past year. In Bolton West, more than 40,000 households would save £120 from Labour’s energy price freeze, so why will the Government not freeze their bills?

We all know that Labour’s energy price freeze is a con. We know that the energy companies will put their prices up directly after the freeze, that it will hurt competition and push out the smaller suppliers that are giving people real choice and helping them cut their bills now, and that it will cut investment. Everyone knows that Labour’s energy bill freeze is a con and would not work.

Last year Hyndburn council launched a scheme to deal with hard-to-treat homes, based on the energy companies obligation. In the autumn statement, that funding was withdrawn and all the leaflets had to go in the skip. This summer it launched a scheme with the green deal home improvement fund. All the leaflets were printed, but the goalposts were moved and on the last day before the recess the fund was scrapped, and all the leaflets have gone in the bin. My constituency has tremendous problems with homes that need insulating and renewable energy. What will the Secretary of State do to ensure that that funding reaches my constituents in a constituency that needs it?

This Government have a very good record on energy efficiency and we want to help the hon. Gentleman’s constituents and others to cut their bills through energy efficiency. The hon. Gentleman is right to say that we made some changes to ECO, and that was in order to take £50 on average off people’s bills. I hope he supports that and that he will tell his constituents about that cut in their bills which this Government have delivered.