What Does the Election Mean for Your Energy Bills?
This year’s General Election is shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable in years, but what effect will the result have on the future of Britain’s energy? With bills at their highest for decades, concerned voters across the country are keen to hear what the political candidates plan to do to reverse this trend.
But with the 7th May just around the corner, it’s almost time to make a decision and take to the polling station. If you’re still undecided about who gets your vote when it comes to energy policies, read on to find out which parties have a focus on energy this year.
Labour have taken a proactive approach to combating the rising costs of energy bills. Well-publicised and highly-criticised, Labour have pledged to freeze gas and electricity bills until January 2017, which they claim will save UK businesses £1,800 on average.
Whilst Labour’s plans have gained support from the Green Party, others have criticised the proposals by saying the price freeze may cause energy companies to drastically increase their tariffs beforehand to combat the longer-term losses.
The Conservatives have been one of the most outspoken parties when it comes to denouncing Labour’s plans. Their focus remains on the long term by developing alternative energy sources such as shale gas. The party also wants to continue with their recently launched campaign encouraging people to switch their energy providers, which they claim could save you up to £200.
Despite their vocal opposition to Labour’s plans, the Conservatives have been reprimanded for failing to confront Ofgem and its effectiveness as a national watchdog. Labour has vowed to dismantle Ofgem, whereas the Tories haven’t offered clear plans to deal with the elephant in the room.
The Liberal Democrats have placed a strong emphasis on renewable energy in their manifesto, and hope to create 200,000 jobs through investment in alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.
The party acknowledges concerns regarding high energy bills but believe that a blanket price freeze for electricity and gas would result in “friendly fire” on smaller energy providers, which they claim will be counter productive.
However, should they be elected, the Liberal Democrats have proposed a ‘Heating and Energy Efficiency Bill’ which focuses on the creation of a national ‘Green Deal’ program, designed to increase the efficiency standards of buildings in Britain.
As mentioned earlier, the Greens confirmed their support for Labour’s price freeze announcement, but only to provide short-term relief. Instead, the Green Party have said they would prefer to focus on improving attitudes towards efficiency as they believe this is the only way to cut energy bills in the long term.
The UK Independence Party believe that high electricity and gas prices are due to prices being dictated by the EU, and the import taxes that apply to bringing gas into the country. To combat this, UKIP plan to explore alternative energy options such as shale gas and nuclear power in the UK, which have traditionally been seen as controversial. The party wants to abandon all development of wind and solar power, claiming that Britain’s energy future rests in coal, gas and nuclear power.
There’s plenty of uncertainty when it comes to political parties and their stances on Britain’s future energy, but it’s all about knowing the options that are available to you, particularly when it comes to saving money on business energy bills. Make sure you do your research and learn about all the different ways in which you can lower your bills, whether that’s by voting for a certain party or switching providers.