John Stevenson: What steps he is taking to tackle rising energy prices.
Claire Perry: My hon. Friend’s constituents are keen to invest in the energy transition, as well as to ensure that their bills do not go up. Earlier this year, we brought forward the price cap Bill, which received strong cross-party support, and we are looking forward to those provisions coming into place by the end of the year. We estimate that my hon. Friend’s constituents on the most expensive tariffs will save around £120. All the other steps that we are taking, including the roll-out of smart meters, the warm home discount, the energy company obligation—which is now focused on the most fuel-poor households—and our work with Citizens Advice and the Energy Saving Trust are helping to keep bills down.
John Stevenson: I thank the Minister for that positive response. Given that we as a society want carbon-free energy but also low energy costs, does she agree that requiring all newly built residential properties to incorporate solar panels would be a step in the right direction, and will she ask her Department to consider that initiative?
Claire Perry: My hon. Friend is quite right that solar PV has an important role to play in the energy system. It might be ideal on some existing or new build homes. What I hate to see is the tokenistic solar panel that some developers pop up on roofs. Obviously, there may well be more effective and expansive measures to reduce running costs and cut emissions. When the Prime Minister launched her buildings mission as part of the industrial strategy earlier this year, she targeted the measure of overall energy. We want to halve the energy consumption of all new buildings by 2030 and we are working closely with the construction sector to deliver that goal.