THE shambolic approach to tackling the ongoing energy crisis by the UK Government has completely fallen under the radar due to the death of the Queen.

With multi-millionaire Jacob Rees-Mogg now taking on the energy crisis as the Business Secretary, and after months of silence over the summer as the Tory leadership contest rumbled on, the public and media were eagerly demanding action just days ago.

Yet, when the policy was finally announced, it fell flat – it was wall-to-wall coverage of the royal family, and it still hasn’t relented.

In a 51-second clip uploaded to Twitter just after 4pm on Thursday, September 8, when the UK was awaiting news on the health status of the Queen (her death would not be announced until 6.30pm), Rees-Mogg proclaimed that the UK Government “will extract every ounce of oil and gas from the North Sea” and bring back fracking.

This statement was accompanied by calming background music, as Rees-Mogg touted an energy price guarantee for consumers – which is still double what they would be paying at the same time last year.

And the “green schemes” mentioned in Rees-Mogg’s clip don’t get any detail, there is little mention of renewables and instead, stock footage of an offshore windfarm has been used. 

READ MORE: Are food banks closed for the Queen's funeral on September 19?

Let’s look at the price cap specifically – as the Tories have consistently ruled out any help for households.

In February 2021, the price cap was set at £1138, but by August the same year, it had hit £1277. Over the summer, we had numerous predictions of how far it was likely to go, with the last prediction for October putting bills at a whopping £3549.

If we take August 2021 as the base, that is an increase of £2272 for the average household.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss and Rees-Mogg’s price guarantee reduces the annual amount to £2500 for the next two years.

The UK Government press release boasts that this saves consumers £1000 a year but this is based solely on Ofgem’s prediction of the price cap rising to over £3500.

The £2500 cap is still £1223 more than the price cap was in August 2021, and that is £54 short of doubling household bills.

There is of course the £400 energy discount for each household brought in by former chancellor Rishi Sunak – but even with this factored in consumers in a typical home face an extra £823 a year. It should also be noted that this payment is going to each household – meaning those with a second home will get a cash boost for each property.

Whatever way the UK Government is trying to spin this – that is not a saving by any means.

And how did they fund this? Partially by pausing the green levy on energy bills, as Truss promised in her election campaign, to the detriment of schemes intending to bring down carbon emissions. Further details of the plan have not been forthcoming due to the mourning period for the late monarch.

But what is arguably more concerning, particularly for environmental campaigners, is the continued enthusiasm for maximum economic recovery (MER) from North Sea resources. This is despite repeated warnings from the UN that to avert global warming, no new fossil fuel sites should be brought online.

As well as the red herring of a £1000 saving, Rees-Mogg also suggested that extracting more oil and gas will provide energy security and move reliance away from Russian-owned supplies.

The UK Government said they are taking a “historic intervention” after a “failure to invest in home-grown energy”. The Tories have been in power for over 12 years.

It also further highlights a gulf between the energy policy directions of the UK and Scottish Governments.

In Scotland, the ruling SNP are against nuclear power, focusing on renewables and the Just Transition for oil and gas workers. In Westminster, more nuclear power stations are being pushed and Rees-Mogg is about to open a licensing round for a potential 100 extra production sites in the North Sea.

Jackdaw – a huge gas field off the coast of Aberdeen – was given the go-ahead in March this year, but likely won’t be operational until at least 2025.

These are matters of serious concern as we head into winter and the extended period of pomp and mourning for the Queen could not have come at a worse time.