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Closed petition Reintroduce the Energy Bills Support Scheme for winter 2023/24

Although energy prices are decreasing, they still remain well above normal levels. I believe the best course of action the UK Government can take is to reintroduce the Energy Bills Support Scheme for winter 2023/24 which was a massive help for households earlier this year.

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Many households are feeling the pinch during the cost of living crisis and reintroducing this scheme will benefit every household.

It's important that no household should be unable to afford energy for heating or cooking but without this scheme being in place for winter 2023/24 I believe this will be the case.

I strongly believe the best way of funding this important scheme would be another windfall tax on the profits of energy companies.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 15 December 2023

The Government recognises the cost of living challenges families are facing and is continuing to provide support to the most vulnerable households this winter.

Read the response in full

The Government recognises the cost of living challenges families are facing and spent over £40 billion last winter helping households and businesses, covering around half a typical household’s energy bill, worth £1,500 between October 2022 and June 2023.

The outlook for energy prices has improved significantly this year. The Q4 2023 Ofgem price cap of £1,834 has more than halved compared to the Q1 2023 price cap which stood at a high of £4,279, which is good news for households who have seen their energy prices fall.

The Government continues to provide support for the most vulnerable households. This year’s Cost of Living Payment has increased from £650 in 2022/23 to £900 in 2023/24 and is helping 8 million eligible households. This is alongside the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment and £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

These cost of living payments are additional to the ongoing support provided every winter, including the £150 Warm Home Discount which supports 3 million households in Great Britain, this has been expanded to capture an extra million people. The Government is also continuing to explore options to make the Warm Home Discount more flexible.

On top of this support, the Winter Fuel Payment (worth between £250 and £600) and Cold Weather Payments of £25 paid during very cold weather are also available for those most in need.

The Government welcomes Ofgem’s review of energy bills standing charges. We have been clear about our expectations that energy prices need to be set fairly, protecting the most vulnerable households.

The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero recently chaired a roundtable with energy suppliers to set expectations and reiterate the importance of protecting vulnerable customers. The Government will continue to engage energy suppliers and keep the situation under close review.

As a result, there are no plans to reintroduce the Energy Bills Support Scheme this winter.

Department for Energy Security & Net Zero

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/637663)

Government responds to public petition about the cost of living

The Government has responded to a public (paper) petition about the cost of living. The petition was presented to the House of Commons by Preet Kaur Gill MP on behalf of residents of Birmingham.

Read the petition and the Government's response

The petition asks the Government to take action to help people who have been affected by the rise in energy, mortgage and rental costs by:

  • Extending the windfall tax for energy companies to cover the capping of prices
  • Insulating homes
  • Lowering interest rates for mortgages
  • Protect renters

In response to the petition's requests, the Government states that it understands that people across the UK are worried about the cost of living and recognise the challenges facing households, and that it has taken decisive action to support households across the UK.

In repose to the petitioners points about extending the windfall tax on energy companies and insulating homes, the Government states that it increased the amount of tax it collects from the profits of energy companies by from 25% to 35%, and that households in council tax bands A-D in poorly insulated homes in England are eligible to apply for support with insulation costs via the Great British insulation scheme.

Find out more about public (paper) petitions

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Petitions Committee requests a revised response from the Government

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) has considered the Government’s response to this petition. They felt that the response sets out existing support being provided by the Government, but does not directly respond to the request for the Energy Bills Support Scheme to be reintroduced for winter 2023/24. and have therefore asked the Government to provide a revised response.

When the Committee receives a revised response from the Government, we will publish this and share it with you.

Government responds to Energy Security and Net Zero Committee's report on preparing for the winter

MPs on the House of Commons Energy Security and Net Zero Committee called for action by the Government, Ofgem and the energy industry to help households prepare for winter.

Government response to the Committee's report on preparing for the winter

In September 2023, the Committee published a report on preparing for the winter and called for a package of targeted support for vulnerable groups and for a more proactive and empathetic approach to customer service by energy companies.

You can read the Committee's full report on its website.

The Government responded to the Committee's report on 15 December. The Government accepted that they should engage with Ofgem to revise the standing charge model and the energy regulator has launched a call for input from bill-payers, businesses and charities on what could replace it.

Additionally, the Government response also highlighted the new rules implemented by Ofgem aimed at improving customer support from energy suppliers.

You can read the Government's response here.

What is the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee?

The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee is a cross-party group of backbench MPs that scrutinises the policy, spending and administration of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and its public bodies, including Ofgem and the Committee on Climate change.

The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee is a select committee. Find out how select committees work.

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Original Government response

The Government recognises the cost of living challenges families are facing and is continuing to provide support to the most vulnerable households this winter.

The Government recognises the cost of living challenges families are facing and spent over £40 billion last winter helping households and businesses, covering around half a typical household’s energy bill, worth £1,500 between October 2022 and June 2023.

The outlook for energy prices has improved significantly this year. The Q4 2023 Ofgem price cap of £1,834 has more than halved compared to the Q1 2023 price cap which stood at a high of £4,279, which is good news for households who have seen their energy prices fall.

The Government continues to provide support for the most vulnerable households. This year’s Cost of Living Payment has increased from £650 in 2022/23 to £900 in 2023/24 and is helping 8 million eligible households. This is alongside the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment and £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

These cost of living payments are additional to the ongoing support provided every winter, including the £150 Warm Home Discount which supports 3 million households in Great Britain, this has been expanded to capture an extra million people. The Government is also continuing to explore options to make the Warm Home Discount more flexible.

On top of this support, the Winter Fuel Payment (worth between £250 and £600) and Cold Weather Payments of £25 paid during very cold weather are also available for those most in need.

The Government welcomes Ofgem’s review of energy bills standing charges. We have been clear about our expectations that energy prices need to be set fairly, protecting the most vulnerable households.

The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero recently chaired a roundtable with energy suppliers to set expectations and reiterate the importance of protecting vulnerable customers. The Government will continue to engage energy suppliers and keep the situation under close review.

Department for Energy Security & Net Zero

This response was given on 5 December 2023. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

MPs investigate fairness of energy bills for customers

A group of MPs called the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee are investigating the process of billing customers for their gas and electricity, and will be looking at whether the rules on charging for energy are fair for all.

Read the Committee's press notice announcing this work for more information.

The aims of the Committee's inquiry are to:

  • Determine whether the rules on billing are fair to all consumers
  • To understand what goes into the standing charge and whether that results in a fair contribution from all customers
  • To explore what restrictions there should be on energy companies utilising pre-payment tools
  • To determine how a social tariff might address inequalities

What happens next?

The Committee is conducting oral evidence sessions where it will hear from experts in the sector as well as representatives from the Government.

Their first evidence session will take place on Wednesday 8 May at 10am. You can watch the session live on [Parliamentlive.tv] [7].

An evidence session is when MPs ask key experts, such as Ministers, academics and/or campaigners, questions on a particular topic.

These experts are called "witnesses" and they help MPs to gain a deeper understanding of the issue.

The Committee will then consider all the evidence it has taken and publish a report of its findings with recommendations to the Government on any changes that might be needed.

For more information about the inquiry, including details of upcoming oral evidence sessions, visit the Committee's inquiry page.

What is the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee?

The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee scrutinises the policy, spending and administration of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and its public bodies, including Ofgem and the Committee on Climate Change.

The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee is a select committee.
- Find out how select committees work

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.