Energy companies have agreed to work with the Scottish Government on a package of support measures to help people struggling with the cost of living.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met with representatives from the sector in a summit at Bute House in Edinburgh on Tuesday.
At the meeting, it was agreed that the UK Government must immediately cancel any further energy price rises for domestic consumers.
And ministers at Westminster have also been urged to provide significant additional support to households and businesses to help them meet current energy bills.
Energy firms have pledged to pursue “all possible options” to provide enhanced support to consumers who are in difficulty.
Following the meeting, the Scottish Government stated that it would provide additional support to advice agencies.
It said that it would also consider further support for households and businesses as part of its emergency budget review.
The group that gathered at Bute House will reconvene following the announcement by Ofgem of the new price cap on Friday, August 26.
Having met with energy sector representatives, Sturgeon said there is a “clear consensus” that customers cannot be expected to carry the burden of further price rises.
“Any further increase in energy bills in October will have a profound impact on households, businesses and the public sector already struggling with the cost crisis,” she said.
“No single government, company or organisation can solve this crisis alone. It requires a collective response commensurate to the situation and the Scottish Government is now treating this situation as a public emergency.
“There was clear consensus at today’s summit that energy customers simply cannot be expected to carry the burden of further price rises in October, and that the UK Government must now commit to freeze the cap for all households and to support the energy companies to deliver that.”
Sturgeon outlined the intention of her government to provide “practical steps” to help households and businesses through the crisis.
She said: “This meeting was focussed on practical solutions, but without action by the UK Government to address the problem at source, the actions we discussed can only ever mitigate the impact of such dramatic price rises at the edges.
“I am grateful to energy suppliers and our third sector partners for coming to the table today and for committing to work together with the Scottish Government to develop further action and practical steps to help households and businesses through the cost crisis.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country