NICOLA Sturgeon has convened a second energy crisis summit with companies and advice organisations to offer more support to consumers and businesses.

During the meeting, representatives discussed the UK Government's energy policy while agreeing on a new set of actions to help the Scottish economy through the winter.

In a statement, the Scottish Government stressed the need for “longer-term certainty” ahead of the anticipated rise to the energy price cap rise due in April.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the curtailing of the energy price guarantee by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had “eradicated what meagre certainty people and businesses had over their bills and finances” in the short to medium term.

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She added: “Even the current cap of £2500 until April – while better than a rise to £3500 – is still a very significant increase for households who are already struggling to pay their bills and heat their homes. Without further mitigation the increase to £2500 under the Energy Price Guarantee will see an additional 150,000 households in extreme fuel poverty.

“The deficiencies in the UK Government’s package mean we are still in an emergency situation. The economic outlook has been made far worse by other aspects of the mini-budget – most of which have now had to be reversed entirely.

She went on to say that the Scottish Government was “working hard” to use its “limited powers” to support people, business, public services and the economy.

She continued: “Part of that work will involve ongoing engagement with energy companies and advice organisations throughout the winter to see how, individually and collectively, we can alleviate the huge challenges people are facing as well as signposting existing schemes and support that is available.

“It is clear however that more substantial reform of the energy market is needed to address the issue in the long term, and the power to do so lies with the UK Government.”

The First Minister helmed an earlier energy crisis summit in August with companies and charities where they agreed on what the UK Government should do to tackle the energy crisis.

They also committed to their own package of measures, including pledges from energy companies to offer more support to the hardest hit consumers and to work more closely with the Scottish Government.

Commenting on Thursday's meeting, a UK Government spokesman said that “countries around the world are facing rising energy costs caused by Putin’s devastating invasion of Ukraine”.

“The energy price guarantee will save the typical household around £700 this winter, based on what energy prices would have been under the current price cap – reducing bills by roughly a third,” the spokesman said.

“A Treasury-led review will consider how to support households from April 2023, focusing support for those in need while reducing costs for the taxpayer.”

And on its support for businesses across the UK, the spokesman said their plans would give firms the “certainty they need to plan through the acute crisis this winter”.

The review, they said, will also look at how to support businesses from April next year and target taxpayers money to the “most vulnerable”.