Energy prices in millions of UK households have risen to levels not seen for nearly a decade after soaring wholesale gas prices, raising concerns about how families manage in the winter. Energy regulator Ofgem said on Friday that prices for 11 million households, billed by key price caps in effect in 2019, rose £ 139 to £ 1,277, a peak before 2013 of 1,286. He said he was approaching the pound. Ofgem said that even if the invoices of an additional 4 million, often vulnerable customers, are controlled by prepaid meter caps, the invoices will increase by £ 153 to £ 1,309 from October when the change takes effect. increase.
FT 6th Aug 2021 read more »
Cheaper green energy will not reduce consumer bills for at least a decade, experts said yesterday, as millions faced paying up to £153 more under the largest price rises since 2013. A Tory MP who led the campaign for the energy price cap said on Friday that the system was not working, after Ofgem said 15 million households could expect bills to rise around 12 per cent. Worldwide gas price rises linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, stymied Russian supply and carbon taxes on coal could see direct debit customers pay an extra £139 annually and those on prepaid tariffs an additional £153. The price rises come despite the UK incorporating record levels of relatively cheap British renewable power in its electricity mix last year, because tariffs are linked to more expensive global gas prices. The cost of offshore wind power has dropped by 70 per cent since 2014 and expected costs for onshore and solar power have also been slashed. But costs are expected to continue to rise even if gas and renewable electricity prices drop, as consumers face paying extra green levies into the 2030s, when the Government hopes to have enough offshore wind power to supply every home in the UK. The Government’s climate change committee (CCC) says costs will rise over the next decade as consumers pay for historic investment in low-carbon infrastructure. It estimates that potential new low-carbon investments including Hinkley Point C and carbon capture projects will also add over £100 to the average annual energy bill by 2030, while expected carbon taxes on gas could add further costs in the near term.
Telegraph 6th Aug 2021 read more »
Energy bills for 15 million households will rise by at least 12 per cent from October after record high gas costs led the regulator to increase the price cap. The biggest bill increase in a decade will mean 11 million households on standard variable or default tariffs pay an extra £139 a year, taking their annual bill to £1,277 based on average usage. Ofgem said that gas bills would rise by 17 per cent and electricity bills by 8 per cent, leading to a 12 per cent rise in a typical dual fuel bill. Peter Smith, of National Energy Action, the fuel poverty charity, called on the government and the regulator to do more to help the most vulnerable households. “Millions of household budgets are already stretched to the limit and this massive increase could not be coming at a worse time,” he said. Citizens Advice and the Resolution Foundation urged the government to rethink the £20 universal credit cut.
Times 7th Aug 2021 read more »
British households feeling the pinch this autumn as energy bills soar will not be alone: a surge in global gas prices is forcing up fuel costs for consumers the world over. As economies emerge from the worst of the pandemic, demand is roaring back and supplies are scarce, inflating prices everywhere from Asia to America. Wholesale gas costs in Europe have hit all-time highs while UK wholesale gas costs are the highest since 2005. Because we burn gas in power stations, the increased cost of gas has also pushed up wholesale electricity prices. While the government cannot control global gas prices, it does have options to help to ease the pain. One simple move suggested by Citizens Advice would be to extend the £20-a-week increase in universal credit, which is due to end in the autumn. Phasing out the £20 top-up is likely to affect households facing the most financial hardship. However, ministers have previously ruled out such a move. The government could also increase energy bill rebates on offer to vulnerable customers through schemes such as the Warm Home Discount, or consider a discounted “social tariff” for the poorest households, which would be set even lower than the price cap and cross-subsidised by wealthier customers. More radically, it could consider removing other costs that are levied on energy bills at present, such as funding for green energy policies and upgrades, and paying for them through general taxation instead.
Times 6th Aug 2021 read more »
Millions of British households will feel the effect acutely from October when they get new bills for gas and electricity. Ofgem, the regulator, yesterday announced that the price cap for default domestic energy bills will rise by 12 per cent. The typical bill for a household on a default tariff paying by direct debit will rise by £139 a year to £1,277, and the rise will be greater for customers with pre-payment meters. The right way to protect poorer households as their living standards are eroded by inflation, and many face the prospect of “fuel poverty”, is not to intervene in the markets for essential services but to provide help through the tax and benefits system. Resources are tight and public finances are stretched. But the government cannot reasonably offload the costs of social policy on to the energy suppliers.
Times 7th Aug 2021 read more »