Alex Sobel spoke about his concerns after the collapse of four smaller energy suppliers, and the news that the sixth largest energy supplier in the UK, Bulb, was asking for a government bailout due to a 250 per cent increase in gas prices since January.
The Leeds North West MP said “My concerns primarily lie with increased energy costs adding additional pressure to many of my constituents who are already having their finances stretched to the limit, with the pending £20 cut to Universal Credit at the end of the month as well as facing an increase in National Insurance payments”
He added: “The government over the last decade have relied too heavily on importing energy, whereas the focus should have been on increasing our own energy supplies with more focus on decarbonisation of energy and Government investment in non-gas low carbon domestic heating.”
Mr Sobel said he agreed with Labour Shadow Business Secretary Ed Milliband that a basic duty of government was to ensure secure, affordable energy supplies for businesses and families.
He argued that if we had been investing at sufficient scale in diverse, secure, zero carbon energy supplies and making energy efficiency a much bigger priority, we would not be in such a precarious position.
He said:“As the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on net zero, our action plan looks at building an expansive and ambitious covid-19 green recovery package that focuses on green job creation and workforce retooling, especially in disadvantaged areas.
"This includes looking at the growth of solar installers and the reintroduction of the feed-in tariff, (a government programme designed to promote the uptake of renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies).
"Decarbonisation through heat pumps, electric heating or hydrogen would also present opportunities for SMEs as installers. All those things present a huge opportunity to create new SMEs and new jobs within them, but they need the business support, investment, incentives and targets, and an ecosystem that creates the opportunity for net zero for SMEs and business at large.”
“We must now ensure that the Government provides support to the energy suppliers during this current crisis, and ensure that any customers are not left without energy due to the collapse of their supplier.
"I want to reassure my constituents that Ofgem at present has said that customers of failed suppliers will be transferred to a ‘supplier of last resort’ and any credit with the old supplier will be transferred. However, it is important to stress that the new supplier may indeed charge more.”