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Domestic Energy Costs

Volume 720: debated on Wednesday 12 October 2022

8. If he will make a comparative assessment with Cabinet colleagues of domestic energy costs in (a) Scotland and (b) the rest of the UK. (901587)

The Government’s recently announced energy price guarantee will support households with their energy bills across the whole United Kingdom, including in Scotland. This decisive action will save the typical household at least £1,000 a year for the next two years.

May I follow up on the question that my hon. Friend the Member for Hove (Peter Kyle) asked about the Scottish Government’s decision to abandon their plans? Will the Minister confirm what discussions he has had with his Scottish counterparts about ensuring that Scotland’s renewable potential directly benefits the people of Scotland and the people of the United Kingdom, given that the cost to the consumer of renewable energy is so much lower?

As I have said, Ministers in the Scotland Office discuss such matters regularly with our colleagues in other Departments. Energy policy is reserved, as I am sure the hon. Member will understand, but we endeavour to work constructively with the Scottish Government on everything that can have an impact on the livelihoods of people and communities in Scotland, as well as businesses.

One of the most critical ways of reducing domestic energy costs in Scotland is by supporting renewable energy generation and carbon reduction efforts. I have raised before at the Dispatch Box the fact that the UK Government chose to sideline the Acorn carbon capture and storage project in the north-east of Scotland. The Scottish Government have refused to provide financing either.

The Secretary of State may be interested to hear that Labour has put forward a fully costed plan to invest in Britain’s infrastructure, which includes providing the funding for the Acorn project. Will the Secretary of State encourage his Cabinet colleagues—[Interruption.]

I believe the Secretary of State and the Minister may have heard the first part of the question, so I will conclude by asking the Secretary of State to encourage his Cabinet colleagues to look again at how the carbon capture and storage project can be supported to enable it to get under way as a matter of urgency.

As the hon. Lady may be aware, the Acorn cluster looms large in my own constituency, so I have nothing but the greatest support for that project. I can also assure her, and the rest of the House, that this Government have stood firmly behind it: we have invested £41 million in the project directly, and it is also the reserve cluster in the Track-1 sequence. Track-2 sequencing for carbon capture and storage across the United Kingdom is coming soon, I am told, and I look forward to that announcement with great interest.

Before we come to Prime Minister’s questions, let me point out that a British Sign Language interpretation of proceedings is available to watch on