Why Liz Truss may abandon Boris Johnson’s energy overhaul

Officials reportedly told to pause plans to shake up energy markets through new legislation

Liz Truss in Downing Street
New PM Liz Truss is said to be prioritising capping energy bills
(Image credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)

The prime minister is preparing to ditch or pause work on her predecessor’s Energy Bill in order to focus on driving down UK households’ energy costs, sources claim.

According to the i news site, “multiple” sources said that Liz Truss’s new secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, Jacob Rees-Mogg, had “told officials on Monday that he planned to effectively put on hold the Energy Bill, currently going through the House of Lords”.

The wide-ranging legislation “centres on both the desire to achieve net-zero by 2050 and the need to completely remove any need for Russian gas and oil, following its invasion of Ukraine”, reported ITV News after Boris Johnson announced the bill during his Queen’s Speech in May.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The then-PM said the bill would “accelerate our transition to more secure, more affordable and cleaner home-grown energy supplies”.

The legislation “would have overhauled everything from carbon dioxide transport to carbon capture and civil nuclear power production”, said the i site.

But Downing Street has stressed that Truss wants to prioritise capping energy bills and reforming electricity markets. The new PM is reportedly “pushing for two big reforms”: decoupling electricity prices from the global gas price, and a move to “locational pricing” to incentivise the private sector to build extra capacity.

Abandoning parts of the Energy Bill may also mean “ditching a landmark reform”, the site added. In his Queen’s Speech, Johnson said that a “future systems operator” arm of the National Grid would be created to “drive progress towards net zero” and “energy security”.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.