MOSCOW, 8 Sep — PRIME. New British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced a freeze on energy bills from October 1 for the next two years, now the average annual bill for gas and electricity will not exceed 2,500 pounds.
“This guarantee … means that from October 1, the average household will pay no more than 2,500 pounds per year for the next two years,” she said, speaking in parliament.
This will save every household £1,000, she said. Such a measure represents additional support, apart from the £400 discount on energy bills this winter, which was announced under the previous British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
British media have previously reported that Truss’ intention to freeze residents’ energy prices could cost the country around £130bn ($150bn) over a year and a half. This comes as British energy regulator Ofgem announced in August that it would raise the maximum allowable annual electricity bill for consumers to £3,549 effective October 1, more than £1,000 more than the price cap proposed by Truss. Energy consultancy Auxilione has forecast that the UK’s annual energy bill cap will be £5,066 from January and a record £6,552 from April.
Truss has not yet announced exactly how this assistance program will be funded. Given that she is a vocal advocate for lowering taxes on the public and has repeatedly spoken out against the introduction of a tax on corporate excess profits, some media have suggested that government loans will cover the difference between real energy prices and the amount that will be charged to citizens. In the future, they will be paid over the next 10-20 years as a surcharge on consumer energy bills.