British Prime Minister Liz Truss said Thursday that her government will cap domestic energy prices for homes and businesses to ease a cost-of-living crisis that has left people and businesses across the U.K. facing a bleak winter.
Truss also said she will approve more North Sea oil drilling and lift a ban on fracking in a bid to increase the U.K.’s domestic energy supply.
Fracking is a proven drilling technology used for extracting oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, or water from deep underground.
Truss told lawmakers in Parliament that the two-year “energy price guarantee” means average household bills will be no more than 2,500 pounds ($2,872) a year for heating and electricity.
Bills had been due to rise to 3,500 pounds ($4,000) pounds a year from October, triple the cost of a year ago. Bills are skyrocketing because of Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the economic aftershocks of COVID-19 and Brexit.
“We are supporting this country through this winter and next and tackling the root causes of high prices so we are never in the same position again,” Truss told lawmakers.
Business and public institutions like hospitals and schools will also get support, but for six months rather than two years.
The government says the cap will cut the U.K.’s soaring inflation rate by 4 to 5 percentage points. Inflation hit 10.1% in July and has been forecast to rise to 13% before the end of the year.