JEREMY Hunt last night urged home-owners to turn down their thermostats — to stop “blackmail” by Vladimir Putin.
He was speaking to the Treasury Select Committee in his first comments since his punishing Statement.
Mr Hunt said: “We are saying to people that in the end, everyone is going to have to take responsibility for their energy bills and they’re going to have to think about how they reduce their energy consumption.
“Because it is a national mission to make sure we can’t be blackmailed by people like Putin when they do things that interrupt international energy supplies.”
The Chancellor added: “For most people, we need you to play your part in reducing our energy dependency on what Putin chooses to do in Ukraine.
“And that’s why we’ve got this national ambition to reduce energy consumption by 15 per cent. The EU ambition is 13 per cent.
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“We’re a couple of per cent higher but other countries are doing the same kind of thing. That isn’t just at a national level but that’s for every household.”
He said the public had been given a “cushion” with the extension of the freeze on domestic bills from April next year when they will typically rise to £3,000.
Under ousted PM Liz Truss, bills would have remained capped at £2,500.
Mr Hunt will instead provide targeted grants to the least well-off, vulnerable groups and pensioners.
He sounded a warning that support on energy costs will end in spring 2024 — whatever the price then.