Support our Nation today - please donate here

Tories and Labour clash on energy policy as they battle for power

24 May 2024 3 minute read
L: PM Rishi Sunak Image Stefan Rousseau / R: Sir Keir Starmer – Image Gareth Fuller

The Tories and Labour clashed on energy policy as the General Election campaign focused on the prospect of cheaper household bills.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is using a visit to Scotland to promote his plan for a publicly-owned green electricity generator, which he said would cut bills and boost energy security.

Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho set out plans for consumer-friendly changes and accused Labour of not being “honest about the costs” that their plans for net zero power would involve.

The row came as regulator Ofgem set the latest level for the energy price cap on average bills.

It announced on Friday morning that the average household energy bill will drop by 7% from July 1, when the latest change to the regulator’s price cap takes effect.

The typical household’s energy bill is set to fall from the current £1,690 a year to £1,568.

This will be £500 less than the cap in July last year, when it was £2,074, but Labour pointed out it is still £400 more than in 2021.


Sir Keir will say that “after 14 years of Tory chaos” people “are desperate for change”.

“Families are picking up the tab of 14 years of Tory energy failure and are expected to remain a staggering £400 a year worse off under the new price cap.”

He will add: “Labour will stop families paying over the odds for energy. Great British Energy, our new publicly-owned energy company, will invest in homegrown clean energy to boost energy independence and cut bills for good.”

Ms Coutinho said Labour’s drive to decarbonise the electricity system by 2030 would “take us back to square one by making voters pay more for net zero”.

She said shifting away from North Sea oil and gas would put 200,000 jobs at risk.

She set out her own energy policies, including maintaining the Ofgem cap throughout the next parliament to help keep bills down.


Under the Tory proposals, price comparison services will be made easier to use and Ofgem could publish league tables showing how long energy firms take to respond to customer complaints.

“Only the Conservatives have a clear plan for a secure future where we reach net zero without punishing families with extra costs,” she said.

In response, a Labour spokesman said the Conservatives “will never end the cost-of-living crisis – only Labour has a plan to cut bills and make Britain energy independent”.

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak will complete his whistlestop tour of the four nations of the UK with a visit to Northern Ireland.

He used a Telegraph column to accuse Sir Keir of lacking the “courage” to take part in weekly televised debates during the campaign.

Labour indicated that rather than the six showdowns proposed by the Tories, Sir Keir would agree to the two broadcasters with the largest audience – the BBC and ITV.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey will visit Tory-held seats on the south coast as he pledges to guarantee patients in England the right to see a GP within seven days.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
23 days ago

They’re both committed to the net zero idiocy so there’s not much to choose between them. They also both think that they can import fossil fuels, outsourcing our so-called carbon footprint, pretend that makes us ‘green’, and that the electorate is thick enough to not know what they’re up to. I despair at the dire quality of the political selection pool.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
23 days ago

I see Sunak has ditched the helicopter (not literally) in favour of a pair of wings…

Instant Karma Chameleon…Knighthood for Steve Bray…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
23 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Great cartoon Ben Jennings of the Guardian…

23 days ago

Ofgem looks after the industry. Time we owned our power and not a firm dedicated to looking after shareholders and pensions. Because of the Conservative Party policies, my energy costs are higher than they should be. Why am I going to give them the chance to grift for more.

Lord Custard
Lord Custard
23 days ago

GB Energy is a good idea from Labour. Most other countries have some sort of state energy company to put profits back into reducing consumers bills. Of course to the Tories this must seem like ‘communism’ as only foreign shareholders are important, and bill payers are just the mugs to pick up the pieces when their private sector mates go bust and dump the losses on the public.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.