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In response to unprecedented rises in wholesale gas prices and increases in energy bills across the UK, the Government has made commitments to support people with the price of energy. These include the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS), the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) and Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS)

On 8 September 2022, the Prime Minister announced that emergency legislation would be introduced to deliver Government policy on energy bills. The Energy Prices Bill was published on 12 October 2022 with Explanatory Notes.  Second Reading is due to take place in the House of Commons on 17 October 2022.

What would the Energy Prices Bill do?

The Bill will allow the Government to provide support with energy costs by putting Energy Price Guarantee schemes on a statutory footing, facilitating the delivery of the Energy Bills Relief Scheme and enabling equivalent schemes to be delivered in Northern Ireland.

The Bill will also enable energy price support to be passed to end users. It would also introduce support measures for those not included under the energy support schemes above, such as those on heat networks, and off-grid customers that use, for example, heating oil.

The Government has stated that the Bill will provide powers to “enable low carbon generators to move onto fixed prices to end the situation where electricity prices are set by the marginal price of gas” with the aim of reducing prices to consumers. It will also provide powers for the Government to limit costs to consumers through a “Cost Plus Revenue Limit” on specified electricity generators. Some in the renewables sector have called this  a “de-facto windfall tax”.

On 22 September 2022, the Government said it wanted to pass this legislation by the end of October and for it to take effect from 1 October 2022. All stages of the Bill in the Commons are all scheduled for Monday 17 October 2022.

Amendments, new clauses and schedules to be moved in committee stage will be allowed before second reading. Amendment papers will be available on the online Bill page.


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