Kwarteng to hold talks over surging energy bills
Energy bills will rise sharply
UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is due to meet energy industry bosses next week amid concern that bills will rise by 50% in the new year.
Mr Kwarteng is expected to face calls for tax cuts and the relaxation of green levies, according to Whitehall sources.
A number of suppliers are joining calls for immediate intervention by the UK government.
Good Energy, EDF and trade body Energy UK have warned of the impact of rising costs on customers and businesses.
Emma Pinchbeck, head of Energy UK, said rising prices were now starting to hurt the economy.
Other European governments, also hit by the global rise in energy costs, were doing more, she said.
“We’ve had record-breaking gas prices since September, and over the last couple of weeks prices have spiked again,” she said. “They are at levels that, frankly, we have not seen before.
“It’s looking pretty serious for the spring. Domestic energy bills are going to go up 45-50%.”
Wholesale costs hit another record this week of 450p a therm, which experts predict could take average annual bills to about £2,000 next year.
Ms Pinchbeck said that across Europe, governments were asking energy-intensive commercial users to curb demand from factories in order to make savings and ease the knock-on impact.