First Scottish Minister calls urgent energy summit – Rigzone News | Vette Leader

The Scottish Government has announced that the First Minister will convene an urgent summit later this month with energy companies and consumer groups to discuss how to improve advice and support for people struggling with energy bills.

This summit will examine what joint action government, energy companies and the third sector can take to make it easier for businesses and consumers to access advice and support on debt issues, the Scottish Government noted, adding that Scotland’s largest energy suppliers – including Scottish Power, OVO Energy, Centrica, Octopus and E.ON as well as industry associations will participate.

The Scottish Government estimates that 906,000 or 36 per cent of all households will be living in energy poverty in October 2022, based on an Ofgem price cap of $3,390 (£2,800) and taking into account previously announced government mitigation measures.

“I know this is an incredibly worrying time for households and energy consumers across Scotland and the Scottish Government will continue to do everything possible to support those affected,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a government statement.

“There is no single solution to this problem and government, industry and the third sector in Scotland need to work together to ensure homes and businesses have the right support during this challenging winter. This could include improving the availability of help and advice and considering a more compassionate approach to debt management,” Sturgeon added.

“However, it remains that the powers and resources needed to deal with this emergency to the extent required – access to credit, welfare benefits, VAT on fuel, taxation of windfall profits, regulation of the energy market – rest with the UK Government. Only the UK Government can access and provide resources to the extent required. You must act now,” Sturgeon continued.

When asked for a response to Sturgeon’s comments, a UK Government spokesman told Rigzone: “We know people are concerned about rising prices, which is why we are delivering £1,200 [$1,440] additional support for eight million of the UK’s most vulnerable households this year”.

“Our newly launched Energy Profits Levy will raise around £5bn [$6 billion] to help with living expenses. We have also provided a record £41 billion to the Scottish Government [$49.2 billion] Settlement for the next three years and the Scottish Government will have significant control over taxes and benefits,” the spokesman added.

On August 11, Sturgeon chaired the Scottish Government’s Resilience Committee “to discuss urgent steps to contain the growing cost emergency”. Ministers agreed on several measures at the meeting, including bringing energy companies together to see what further help can be provided to limit cost increases and providing more advice to households on how to use energy more efficiently and reduce consumption.

Last month, the UK government announced that millions of households across the UK will receive non-refundable rebates on their energy bills this winter. The UK government has announced that consumers will be given a $484 (£400) rebate over six months from October 2022, to be administered by energy suppliers.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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