Questions raised over EPG extension to all households

Experts have challenged whether the extra cost of £3 billion would be better spent on other long-term measures

The widely anticipated extension of the Energy Price Guarantee across England, Wales, and Scotland will bring benefits to millions of households.

However, some are questioning the rationale behind the policy, as it offers universal help to all households, regardless of their energy bill situation.

Critics argue that the £3 billion cost of the extension could be better spent if targeted towards those who are most in need.

Simon Virley CB, Vice Chair and Head of Energy and Natural Resources at consultancy KPMG in the UK, said: “While this move has been widely trailed, it can’t just be another three months where we wait and see what happens to wholesale prices.

“The government needs to move beyond their short-term emergency measures and find a way to target support for energy bills on those who need it most. If social tariffs are the answer, then time is ticking to have the systems in place.

“As well as defining the groups that will receive ongoing support, government and energy supplier data systems need to be connected in time for when the EPG comes to an end in April 2024.”

Mike Foster, Chief Executive Officer of the Energy and Utilities Alliance, has welcomed the decision to extend the EPG, which is expected to protect consumers from a 20% increase in energy prices from April.

Mr Foster has also urged the Chancellor to support the move towards a hydrogen economy, starting with the blending of hydrogen with natural gas in the country’s networks, in order to facilitate decarbonisation without incurring high costs.

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