The UK's Energy Secretary has issued a warning to energy suppliers, saying they “must be ready” to pass on cuts in wholesale prices to consumers.
During a speech at Chatham House in London, Grant Shapps is expected to put suppliers on notice as he sets out his aim of ensuring the UK has “amongst the cheapest wholesale electricity prices in Europe”.
The warning from Mr Shapps comes as Downing Street indicated measures that could lead to households paying 20 per cent more in energy bills were being kept under review, with the energy price guarantee cap set to rise from £2,500 (£3,000) a year for the typical property to £3,000 in April.
The creation of the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero at the start of February came amid fresh commitments from the government for a drive towards greater energy independence amid the war in Ukraine.
In his speech, Mr Shapps will link the need to achieve net zero to overall energy security, calling them “two sides of the same coin”.
He will stress the importance of “making the most of our position as a world leaders in renewables and nuclear technology”, pointing out that “home-grown sources” of energy will “shield households from the worst excesses of the volatile global fossil fuel markets”.
“Families have seen the impact on the pounds in their pockets of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s illegal march on Ukraine a year ago — and it has opened the world’s eyes to just how vulnerable we are to tyrants like him,” he is expected to say.
“Working towards this overarching goal of cheaper wholesale electricity will mean we will be powering Britain from Britain, increasing our energy security and independence — the kind of independence that comes from having the four biggest wind farms off our shores.”
Mr Shapps, taking aim at Extinction Rebellion and other climate activists, will say: “Energy security and tackling climate change are ultimately two sides of the same coin.
“And it will be this — not the eco-extremists like Extinction Rebellion causing disruption and dismay — that will have people voting with their feet as they see the benefits of achieving net zero.”
The speech comes after Mr Shapps met US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm for the first time this week.