Wholesale gas and electricity prices in the UK hit a five-year low at the end of 2015, according to latest research by energy market analysts. The cost of energy on the wholesale market tumbled to £36.76 per megawatt hour on the Power Index, compiled by market information provider ICIS. The causes were a mild winter and lower global commodity prices, ICIS said. Pressure is mounting on the UK’s big six energy suppliers to cut their prices in line with falling costs.
BBC 14th Jan 2016 read more »
David Cameron fired a shot across the bows of energy suppliers yesterday for failing to cut the cost of household bills despite falling wholesale prices. His comments follow a story in The Times yesterday which revealed that almost five million pensioners will have to ration heating this winter because they cannot afford their energy bills. Asked during prime minister’s questions why many older people were dying of the cold each year, he said: “The winter deaths are a standing rebuke to all governments about what more needs to be done. “We have got in this country now falling energy prices because of the falling oil price. I agree they are not falling as fast as I would like. And that is why I think it is right that we have this competition commission inquiry into the energy industry to make sure it is a fully competitive industry.” Last May the energy secretary wrote to the chief executives of each of the big six suppliers asking them to cut prices to reflect falling wholesale costs. Since then, wholesale prices have dropped by a fifth and only British Gas has cut bills, and only by 5 per cent and only on gas. Dan Jarvis, the Labour MP who asked the prime minister about winter deaths, said: “We seem to accept pensioners freezing to death as something that just happens. Last winter 43,000 people died because of the cold but those deaths are avoidable. In colder countries fewer people die from the cold than here and that shames our country.” In the next two weeks the Competition and Markets Authority will publish provisional recommendations on how to increase competition in the industry after concluding last year that households were being overcharged by £1.2 billion a year.
Times 14th Jan 2016 read more »