Council agrees national energy crisis notice of motion
SWANSEA Council is to urge the UK Government to act swiftly to protect householders from energy price rises.
The coming months are expected to see energy bills rise as they have never done so before, meaning a tighter squeeze on family budgets.
The price cap that energy firms must adhere to is set to rise substantially - so the council is asking the Government to take decisive positive action.
A notice of motion agreed by full council yesterday aims to address the national energy crisis. It asks council leader Rob Stewart to call on the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer to immediately
- reduce VAT for energy bills
- introduce a new, lower price cap on energy bills
- make grants or interest-free loans more available to encourage home owners and businesses to embrace renewable energy solutions such as solar
- introduce a windfall tax on energy companies to fund a UK grant scheme for those most in need
Cllr Stewart said: "We want to help families and householders by protecting them from excessive price rises. As a council, we'll do all we can to help by signposting residents to support options and energy efficiency ideas as well as making our council homes cheaper to heat.
"We've processed 30,000 £100 payments to households thanks to the Welsh Government winter fuel support scheme. However, the help needed to deal with the cost of living crisis can only be fixed by decisive action by the UK Government."
The bills rise comes on top of a cost of living crisis created by the impacts of Brexit and the pandemic. Inflation remains high and earnings haven't kept pace with prices.
Andrea Lewis, the council's joint deputy leader,said: "The additional costs of day-to-day living are impacting on every household across Swansea - and more so on families living near the breadline; many visit food banks and are faced with the terrible choice of heating their home or putting food on the table. We want to help."
Those looking to cut energy bills now can get free, independent advice from Swansea city centre's new Energy Awareness Hub. Organisations behind it include Swansea Council and the Environment Centre Swansea.
It's at 13 Nelson Street and is open on Thursdays from noon-6pm, Fridays (10am-4pm) and Saturdays (9am-3pm).