Brighton MP speaks out about energy bills

A Brighton MP has called for action to protect people and businesses from high energy bills after a care home company told him that it was facing a five-fold increase.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle in the House of Commons

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, was shocked to hear that the local care home operator was quoted £790,000 a year for its energy bills, up from £152,000.

In a tweet yesterday (Thursday 1 September), Mr Russell-Moyle said: “We need to stop pretending this is all out of our control. Other countries are taking action to protect people. The Tories are driving us over the edge of a cliff.”

Spacewords Brighton

His comments come after the energy regulator Ofgem announced an increase in the energy price cap from the start of October from £1,917 a year to £3,549.

This followed an increase in the price cap in April from £1,277 to £1,971. Forecasters expect further price rises in January and April which could take household bills to more than £6,000 a year.

The price cap is the maximum amount that energy companies can charge and limits the standing charge to be connected to the energy grid.

The Labour MP said that the care company did not want to be identified because it did not wish to frighten its residents.

He said: “The fact remains that the increase from £152,000 to £790,000 is an astronomical increase but sadly it is not uncommon for businesses trying to lock in a new energy tariff right now.

“We are going to see mass bankruptcy without action and it will be squarely of this government’s own making.

“We have policy solutions to these problems but the Conservatives have decision paralysis either through a lack of leadership or are ideologically driven by a desire to let the free market destroy our economy.”

The council said: “The energy and cost of living crisis is already extremely hard for many people in our city.

“We’re looking at all possibilities available to us to help people. We know only too well that the heaviest burden for this crisis falls on those who are least well off.

“The government’s Household Support Fund, council tax energy rebate and energy bill discounts have provided and will provide some support. A third round of the Household Support Fund from October to March is currently awaited.

“While draft guidance has been issued, we are waiting for the Government to confirm the level of support to be provided. We will prioritise distribution of this fund as soon as it is confirmed.”

The council added: “We all need clarity from government on the support they will be offering both to individuals and councils.”

  1. BC Reply

    What I’d like to know is how much has Lloyd claimed for heating his primary or second home and will be continue to do so? Why should taxpayers pay for MPs bills?

    • Jenny Mullins Reply

      He commutes to London every day so doesn’t have a second home to claim heating bills from. He may of course claim heating bills for his constituency office so his staff don’t freeze to death in the winter …

    • Sd Reply

      Thank you Lloyd.

  2. Jenny Mullins Reply

    He commutes to London every day so doesn’t have a second home to claim heating bills from. He may of course claim heating bills for his constituency office so his staff don’t freeze to death in the winter …

  3. BAHTAG Reply

    Looked at rationally this feels like more Fake News from an opposition politician trying (and failing?) to score a cheap propaganda point (which will probably be worthless, except in the unlikely event of a General Election in the next few weeks?).

    Yes, businesses are generally not protected by the OFGEM price cap for domestic users.

    To objectively understand the position of this anonymous care home the MP needs to tell us how many written price quotes they’ve obtained, and whether the figure he’s speaking of is the highest, or the lowest, of how many quotes?

    And whilst readers can understand the desire of the care home to remain anonymous that also means we’re unable to judge the opportunities for PV solar panels on the roof (with batteries to store unused daytime electricity for use after dark, and/or to buy-in more grid power after midnight when prices can be much lower, once one knows how to organise that).

    Additionally the MP (an educated and intelligent gentleman) needs to tell us what the EPC rating of the premises is, and when will it be brought-up to the second-highest level of thermal insulation (against winter cold & summer heat!).

    Furthermore what are the prospects for adding ground-source thermal energy?

    As the premises are likely to be near the coast probably only a relatively shallow bore-hole will be needed to access an infiltration of sea-water with a year-round temperature of some 9°C – excellent for putting through a fluid heat-pump to bring up to around 22°C in winter (great for the underfloor heating which care facilities need, and also a good temperature to use directly for cooling in the summer).

    Those who’ve heard something of Sir Kier Starmer since he became Party Leader may well be wondering when Labour will actually DO something constructive, such as now making the NHS in Wales the best Health Service among our various administrations, rather than just bleating uselessly (on the way back to Blairdom?), according to some weird play-book from yesterday’s man, Lord Peter Mandelson?

    And concretely for the care home?

    With so many educated persons among its ranks Labour should be well aware that the world only has about 28 years remaining in which to sufficiently reduce global warming to avoid a/the tipping-point predicted for 2050 leading to a disastrous and unstoppable speeding-up of climate change?

    And thus this local MP (and all other MPs) needs to assist this local enterprise to rapidly obtain the best professional and impartial advice as to minimising their spend on energy from the grid, surely?

    And the financial situation?

    It appears to be self-evident that having each premises owner maximising the energy efficiency of their properties will be both more effective and overall less expensive than expecting a Government to levy more taxes with which to fund new national energy schemes (many of which have failed in recent years, apart from the generosity of the early FiT subsidy, which kick-started the installation of PV solar panels – with that nascent and beneficial industry then being almost killed-off by a Chancellor who found the Feed-in Tariff payments to be ‘too generous’!).

    And to state the blummin’ obvious;
    Yes, maximising the move away from grid energy to on-site self generated renewables does require an investment.

    But when done on the basis of an optimal design drawn-up by impartial professionals (rather than owners succumbing to pressure from glib snake-oil sales people marketing sub-optimal ‘solutions’ (including the foolishness of noisy and unreliable short-life air-source heat pumps) for big commission rates) each investment so recommended will pay for itself, as well as helping to slow down global warming!

    And with the large increase in property values over the last 20 years or so a majority of property owners are likely to have sufficient equity with which to borrow up-front at a low-ish interest rate, especially to invest in energy efficiency with which to reduce their ongoing payments to the energy retailers?

    Indeed, why do we even have an energy retailing structure which has been broken for far too long?

    Simply because of an EU edict requiring a ‘competitive market’ for the supply of utilities!

    But thanks to Brexit we no longer have to obey the EU! So are there any politicians proposing that we all buy our utilities from OFGEM, and that the Gov’t of the day does everything necessary to ensure that OFGEM is provided with bulk supplies of energy at the lowest achievable prices?

    Isn’t it thus time that, even in opposition, Labour makes a start with tangible actions to improve society, rather than seeming to lose itself in ‘Mandelsonian Machiavellianism’?

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