Motion 9 and amendments
Congress notes the energy price cap could rise to £3,244 in October 2022 for a typical household, putting people on low and medium incomes at risk of choosing between heating and eating over the winter, and increasing forced instalments of pre-payment meters. Usdaw’s research showed that nearly twice as many people on pre-payment meters struggle to pay energy bills.
Congress notes that the government’s support package is based on lower predicted increases which could leave the support insufficient to cover rising costs. Energy market reform requires a long-term sustainable strategy that will contribute both to UK energy security and to achieving net zero.
Congress further notes that steelmakers, manufacturers, and other energy-intensive users are struggling with uncompetitive energy costs. UK steelmakers currently pay almost 60 per cent more for electricity than European counterparts. This threatens the viability of the government target of a 95 per cent reduction in emissions from steelmaking by 2050, as net-zero steel production is significantly more energy intensive.
Congress notes that high and unstable energy costs undermine the opportunity to support our foundational industries, secure UK fuel supplies, build supply chain capacity, and create new green jobs.
Congress believes net zero technologies also have a role to play in making energy costs in the UK affordable for businesses and households.
Congress calls on the TUC to:
i. campaign for immediate action on energy prices to support UK industry and help struggling households with rising bills, including a social tariff, tackling the unfair charges many low-income households face as a result of pre-payment meters, and supporting customers who fall into energy debt.
ii. lobby the government to ensure that energy price and industrial policy incentivises rather than undermines decarbonisation, as well as supports those on low and middle incomes.
iii. campaign for the return of the gas and electricity industries to social and public ownership, with new models that take account of the interests of workers, consumers, local communities and the environment.
Seconder: Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Supporters: Prospect; Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association