Pendle MP backs Barnoldswick's Rolls-Royce to help meet UK's future energy needs with Small Modular Reactors
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Mr Stephenson, speaking from Parliament’s backbenches for the first time since finishing serving as a government Minister for the last five years, intervened to welcome the quick action to protect households in Pendle from rising energy costs.
He also pressed for the government to go “further and faster” on supporting plans by Rolls-Royce to manufacture Small Modular Reactors. Known as ‘SMRs’, these are advanced nuclear reactors that are smaller and less expensive to build than conventional nuclear power plants.
Under plans announced by the Prime Minister yesterday, a new Energy Price Guarantee will come into effect from October 1st that will mean the typical household will pay no more than £2,500 per year for their energy bills, more than £1,000 lower than the £3,549 average bills had been expected to rise to previously under the energy price cap.
This support will remain in effect for two years for households, and for at least six months for businesses. It comes in addition to the Energy Bill Discount which will see £400 discounted from energy bills for households in October, and targeted £650 Cost of Living Payment support for households on means tested benefits – such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits – or disability benefits.
There will also receive be a one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
Mr Stephenson said: “I warmly welcome the Prime Minister’s rapid action to tackle rapidly rising energy costs. This will be a relief to many in Pendle, including those local businesses I have met with to discuss their concerns.
“The Prime Minister also backed my call to accelerate construction of SMRs. Rolls-Royce’s two Barnoldswick sites stand to benefit from the additional work this would create, alongside growth in our national economy and better energy security.
“I was also reassured that a dedicated fund will be set up for those who don’t pay their own energy bills, including park home residents – a concern those living on Dales View Park in Salterforth had raised with me.”