Here’s what the UK government said about energy prices in 2014

One of No campaign’s key anti-independence scare stories in 2014 was that energy prices would rise if Scotland voted for independence.

But under Westminster control, energy prices are soaring, millions face being pushed into fuel poverty, and UK electricity prices rose faster than other European countries.

Scotland is an energy-rich country, with 25% of Europe’s wind and tidal energy potential – but under Westminster rule, Scotland’s opportunities to fully tap into that are held back.

Meanwhile, the average household electricity price in the UK is at least 30% higher than in many of its European neighbours.

Here’s what Westminster politicians said in 2014, and how it compares to reality.

“Lower energy bills”

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, in a 2014 paper, predicted that UK household energy prices would actually drop by around £48 by 2020.

Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change (2014) -

But following the 2014 referendum, this never happened. Energy prices kept significantly rising.

According to 2019 analysis, between 2015 and 2019 alone, the average household energy bill increased to £1,813 a year – that’s a 40% hike.

Far from the UK government’s projection that prices would fall by £48, just years later they rose by around £524.

Source: The Guardian (2019) -

The Better Together energy “factsheet”

In 2014, the ‘No’ campaign produced a “factsheet”, telling people that only by remaining part of the UK we can ensure a lower cost of living.

It said: “As part of the UK we all benefit from a lower cost of living. Being backed by the strength and security of the larger UK economy means that we all save money on our energy bills.

They explicitly said that voting ‘No’ means lower energy bills in Scotland. We all know how that worked out – the reality couldn’t be any more different.

Energy bills soared in April 2022 to an average of £1,971 and are expected to rise sharply again in October to £3,549, and over £4,200 in January.

And Ofgem, the UK’s energy body, has announced that its “energy price cap” will be reviewed every 3 months – instead of every 6 months – to keep up with the ever-rising prices.

The rising prices, combined with the dithering and inaction from Westminster, are forcing people to choose between heating and eating, and pushing even more people into poverty.

Source: The Courier (2021) -

‘No’ campaign: staying in the UK means more investment in renewables

The 2014 Better Together “factsheet” also said this: “The reality is, renewables are still expensive and require significant government help. As part of the UK, we benefit from renewable subsidies disproportionately.”

Ed Davey, the then UK energy secretary and current leader of the Lib Dems, said: “Scotland could lose billions in renewable energy subsidies with a Yes vote and would put our green energy revolution at risk.”

This turned out to be another broken promise.

The Tories, after winning the 2015 general election, scrapped the subsidy for wind farmsleading to additional costs for consumers, hampering Scotland’s renewables revolution and hitting Scotland’s economy.

Here’s what they promised on carbon capture…

In 2014, the UK government promised to make Scotland a world leader in carbon capture technology – committing £100 million of funding for a new carbon capture and storage plant in Peterhead.

The 2015 UK Tory manifesto boasted of being “the greenest government ever… committing £1 billion for carbon capture and storage.”

…and here’s what happened.

Just months after the election, in November 2015, the UK Tory government has broken its own manifesto promise.

Days before the UN climate change conference in Paris, the UK government has cancelled its £1 billion investment for carbon capture and storage technology – snubbing the leading project in Peterhead.

And while years later, in 2021, they found the money to invest in projects in England, they again abandoned the Scottish carbon capture project – known as the “Acorn cluster” – despite it being described as “shovel-ready” and most cost-effective out of all options.

We’re all paying the price for their broken promises

The UK has the highest rate of inflation in the G7 – and it’s projected to stay the highest until at least 2024.

Ireland – a country of similar size to Scotland without the wealth of natural resources that we have – kept inflation significantly lower.

And while the Bank of England confirmed that the UK is heading for “a long recession”, Ireland’s economy is projected to keep growing.

That’s on top of the continuing cost of Brexit – which is causing real damage to people and businesses. Click here to read real-life case studies of Scottish businesses struggling with Brexit.

Scotland hasn’t voted for the Tories since 1955, but we’re forced to pay for the damaging decisions of Tory governments we don’t elect.

The UK already has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north-west Europe – and the fact is, continued Westminster control will only make things worse.

Scotland has what it takes to become a successful independent nation – just like Belgium, Ireland, Denmark or Norway, countries that are all fairer, more equal, and more prosperous than the UK.

Click here to read the facts, comparing UK’s performance to independent nations that share many features with Scotland.

And if you haven’t already, click here to pledge your support for Scottish independence – and share it with 5 friends or family to help us build momentum.