AS the world continues to recover from the pandemic, we are seeing a surge in gas demand which is pushing up the wholesale price globally.
Just as countries in Europe are grappling with record gas prices, unfortunately the situation here in Britain is no different.
From day one, my priority has been to protect the consumers.
That is why we kept the energy price cap in place, even though many energy companies pushed for it to go.
For months, millions of British people have been effectively insulated from the true global price of gas.
To give readers an idea, the price is currently capped at 63 pence a unit, while the real cost now is around £2.50.
That means the energy you use today — thanks to our price cap — is significantly cheaper than it would otherwise be. This has helped millions over the colder months but the independent regulator Ofgem is set to raise the cap from April 1.
While I know this will be deeply worrying news for many, I want to reassure Sun on Sunday readers we have a safety net in place to help people with their energy bills.
We are giving £2billion of direct support to more than 11million pensioners in Winter Fuel Payments, worth up to £300.
If you are on Universal Credit, about two million working families are getting an extra £1,000 a year thanks to our reforms.
For those people needing extra help to cover everyday costs, our £500million Household Support Fund is also available through local councils. The Warm Home Discount is providing £140 towards fuel costs for more than two million households, which is set to rise to £150 in October and expand to another 780,000 households.
Meanwhile, in April, there will be the largest-ever increase in the National Living Wage, meaning an extra £1,000 a year in gross pay for someone working full-time.
While the support we have in place will help, the Government is always looking at whether this is enough.
I want to reassure readers that ministers are working hard to help ease those cost-of-living pressures I know so many people are feeling.
Ultimately, to shield British people from rises in global gas prices into the future, we need to move away from volatile gas and foreign imports.
Unlike other countries in Europe, the UK is not dependent on Russian gas and our single largest source is within British waters.
However, every country is exposed to prices set by international markets.
So to better insulate ourselves from global forces, we need to generate more clean power in the UK.
That means more offshore wind, solar, tidal energy, hydrogen and, crucially, our new nuclear power fleet.
The more clean energy we generate in this country, the better protected we will be in the years ahead. While rising energy bills are a clear worry, the support we have in place is helping millions of people.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will look to ensure our safety net is working, just as we always have done.