With the long-delayed energy strategy now revealed (Thursday), the country’s leading energy union is demanding that the government supports and creates UK jobs across a balanced energy supply – and warns that the strategy is no fix for rocketing energy costs.

Unite is calling on the government to use the strategy to impose procurement rules that will guarantee that UK companies and workers will be first in line for taxpayers’ money to expand and diversify the energy supply, and that employers awarded contracts will be required to respect the high employment standards of the UK sector or be denied a contract.

The union, which has called for a targeted windfall tax to assist struggling homeowners with punishing bills, and has established a commission on profiteering to look at energy sector profits, is also calling for the failures of energy market regulation to be addressed, which it regards as unfit for the present day ‘cartel’ of suppliers.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary said: “It has taken a war and a global crisis to get this government to act on the long-standing and vitally important issue of meeting the energy needs of the country and the planet. This is something we have been pushing for years.

“Now we have promises of investment and new jobs. But the devil will be in the detail. Government investment must be tied to UK job guarantees and not be syphoned off to boost offshore profits. There can be no further delays on delivering the new jobs and they must be union jobs, covered by collective bargaining, good pay, terms and conditions.

“And let’s not pretend that this strategy is enough to fix the pain inflicted upon workers and households right now by the UK’s punishing energy costs. Energy producers are making more cash than they know what to do with. A targeted windfall tax could get cash directly into the pockets of the people in this country who are facing the terrifying dilemma of heat or eat.”

Unite national officer for the energy sector Simon Coop added: “Unite has been demanding investment in these industries for years – but we are yet to be convinced that the government possesses the ambition needed to become energy self-sufficient.

“Our members are more than ready to support the jobs of today and create the ones of tomorrow but these must be quality jobs with no lowering of the good employment standards that we have worked to establish across this industry.

“The government must also address the energy market failure which has resulted in a cartel of a handful of suppliers, the public picking up the cost of collapsing suppliers and a raw deal for consumers.”

ENDS