I am aware of the impact that high global wholesale energy prices are having on consumers.
To support households, the Government is maintaining the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) until April 2024. The EPG limits the amount that consumers can be charged per unit of gas or electricity. Although energy prices are currently below the level at which EPG payments would be made, its continuation through winter will protect households from price spikes, putting in place a safety net for the most vulnerable.
The EPG, alongside the Energy Bills Support Scheme, which gave every household a £400 discount on their energy bills, means that the Government has been subsidising around half of a typical households energy bills.
In recognition that those with a disability sometimes face higher than average energy costs, I welcome the Government's announcement that, in addition to the £150 Disability Cost-of-Living Payment that reached six million people in 2022, a second such payment will be made this year.
Aside from the Disability Cost-of-Living Payment, those with disabilities can receive additionally support in the form of the Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance, and Universal Credit. I welcome that disability benefits were increased by 10.1 per cent - in line with inflation - in April 2023.
Finally, the Government are currently exploring ways to protect vulnerable consumers from April 2024. I understand that officials from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero are engaging with industry and stakeholders to determine how best to support the most vulnerable and alleviate fuel poverty.