Liz Truss has promised to “deliver on the energy crisis” in her first speech as the new leader of the Conservative Party.
After weeks of campaigning, Truss scooped the victory from her opponent Rishi Sunak, with a total of 81,326 votes to 60,399.
Energy has been at the forefront of the election, as the nation eyes the incoming energy crisis this winter. The price cap for the Q4 period has been set at £3,549, an increase of around 80% from its current level.
This is expected to push the number of UK households in fuel poverty from 4.5 million last October to 8.9 million this October, according to National Energy Action.
After Truss was announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party – and therefore Britain’s new Prime Minister – by Sir Graham Brady, she took to the stage to say thank you to those who voted for her, and touch on her “bold plan” for the county.
“I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply,” she said.
A freeze on energy bills is thought to be one of the key options Truss is eying to help tackling the crisis over the coming winter, according to a number of media outlets.
In an interview with the BBC following the election result, she stated she will act in a week on soaring energy bills.
During the election process, Sunak had similarly made promises to bring in further support for households amid the soaring bills, pointing to his role in establishing the current £400 bill support package amongst other moves announced by the government this year.
Beyond the need for immediate support, the importance of longer-term action to ensure Britain’s energy security has also been a key theme throughout the election process. Bills are soaring on the back of record high gas prices, which are particularly volatile due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As such the need to move away from a reliance on the international gas market has been thrown into light, with both candidates touching on a wide-range of generation technologies, including fracking for natural gas and a range of renewable energy technologies.
Both came under fire from the energy sector for their attack on solar farms in particular, which they looked to mark as being in opposition to food security. Truss for example dubbed the technology “paraphernalia” during one of the hustings.
The energy sector will now wait with great anticipation to discover what policy support is brought in for the winter and beyond.
“We’re looking forward to working with the new Prime Minister and her team to take forward new measures to reduce energy bills, both in the short term and the long term,” said RenewableUK’s CEO Dan McGrail in response to her win.
“Industry wants to work with Government on our plans to break the link between the exorbitant cost of gas and the price of electricity. This will enable billpayers to benefit more from the vast amounts of low-cost electricity being generated by wind and other renewables, by no longer allowing gas to call the tune in the energy market.”