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by Staff reporter
23 August 2022
Nicola Sturgeon: Energy crisis being treated as a public emergency

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met energy companies at Bute House Credit: Alamy

Nicola Sturgeon: Energy crisis being treated as a public emergency

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for the price cap to be frozen following a meeting with energy companies.

Sturgeon met energy firms and advice organisations earlier at Bute House where a consensus emerged about the need to take urgent action.

The Scottish Government said “significant action” was now required from the UK Government to “avert the crisis at source”.

Following the meeting, the First Minister said: “Any further increase in energy bills in October will have a profound impact on households, businesses and the public sector already struggling with the cost crisis.

“No single government, company or organisation can solve this crisis alone. It requires a collective response commensurate to the situation and the Scottish Government is now treating this situation as a public emergency.

“There was clear consensus at today’s summit that energy customers simply cannot be expected to carry the burden of further price rises in October, and that the UK Government must now commit to freeze the cap for all households and to support the energy companies to deliver that.”

Earlier this month it was warned that energy bills could hit £5,000 next year unless action is taken. Yesterday, it was predicted that inflation could hit 18 per cent at the start of 2023. 

Sturgeon added: “This meeting was focussed on practical solutions, but without action by the UK Government to address the problem at source, the actions we discussed can only ever mitigate the impact of such dramatic price rises at the edges.

“I am grateful to energy suppliers and our third sector partners for coming to the table today and for committing to work together with the Scottish Government to develop further action and practical steps to help households and businesses through the cost crisis."

According to the Scottish Government, the consensus reached at the meeting was that the UK Government should cancel any further price rises for domestic customers and provide significant additional support to help households and businesses meet the cost of bills.

It was agreed the Scottish Government will provide additional support to advice agencies and consider, as part of its emergency budget review, further support for households and businesses.

The group will reconvene following the announcement by Ofgem of the new price cap on Friday and the appointment of a new prime minister to determine further specific actions.

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