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Tory MPs caution that ambitious energy bill could lead to significantly higher costs

Conservative lawmakers have expressed concerns over the Energy Bill’s impact, cautioning it could burden consumers with higher costs driven by ambitious eco-policies.

Tory MPs have raised alarm bells over the flagship Energy Bill, labelling it a “recipe for energy disaster” that could potentially burden consumers with soaring costs.

Alongside warnings from other high-profile colleagues, former Business Secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg pressed ministers to maintain public support, in efforts to reform the energy sector and pursue net-zero emissions goals.

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The government’s announcement of relaxed planning permission for onshore wind farms attempted to help quell potential backbench rebellion.

Energy Minister Andrew Bowie also confirmed the removal of a proposed hydrogen levy on households and the government’s intention to explore renewable liquid heating fuel within a year through a public consultation.

‘I Despise This Bill’

Despite these concessions, several Tory MPs remained critical of the bill. Craig Mackinlay, chairman of the backbench Tory Net Zero Scrutiny Group, expressed strong opposition in the Commons, saying, “I absolutely despise this bill.”

He particularly criticised the provision that could lead to property owners facing imprisonment for failing to comply with new energy efficiency rules, saying that it was wrong to potentially criminalise citizens for net-zero-related offences.

Mr. Mackinlay, the MP for South Thanet, argued that the bill could drive high-energy businesses offshore, ultimately benefiting countries like China, which could sell more solar panels and wind turbines fueled by cheap coal power.

He insisted that the legislation was a recipe for energy disaster and expressed concerns about the broader net-zero proposals that included banning cars and oil boilers.

Sir Jacob echoed concerns about the bill’s impact on constituents, emphasising that it could impose “undue burdens.” He highlighted the creation of costs, regulations, penalties, and obligations throughout the bill and emphasised the need to keep people onboard.

Sir John Redwood voiced his “worry” about the potential antagonization of the British public by overly restrictive measures and the threat of civil and criminal penalties. He stressed the importance of persuading people that green products would be cost-effective and beneficial.

A ‘Cultish Policy’

Richard Drax, Tory MP for South Dorset, acknowledged the impending green revolution but cautioned against impoverishing the country with policies that he likened to a “cultish policy” until they were affordable and functional.

The Energy Bill aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, attract investment in low-carbon energy technologies, enhance energy resilience, boost domestic energy production, and ultimately lower long-term energy bills.

Energy minister Andrew Bowie opened the report stage, describing the bill as world-leading and historic. He emphasised that it would deliver cleaner, cheaper, and more secure energy, levelling up the country and reducing bills for the British public.

From the Labour party, shadow climate change minister Alan Whitehead noted the lengthy parliamentary process for the bill and its effects on investors interested in the low-carbon economy.

Anthropologist and director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Benny Peiser, expressed concerns that the Energy Bill, closely aligned with the government’s net zero agenda, could result in higher energy costs for consumers.

‘Only One In Eight Britons’

Speaking to The Epoch Times by text, Mr. Peiser said: “The Energy Bill is largely driven by the government’s net zero agenda and will almost certainly lead to higher energy costs. It is unlikely that costly net zero plans will survive contact with reality. According to the latest polling, only one in eight Britons support energy policies that increase the cost of living for ordinary people.”

As the Energy Bill moves forward, concerns over its potential financial impact on consumers and businesses remain at the forefront, prompting ongoing debate and discussion among lawmakers and stakeholders.

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