The number of families experiencing fuel stress is set to triple overnight when the price cap is reset, reaching 6.3 million households. According to new research from charity Resolution Foundation, if the price cap increases by around 50% – as it is predicted to by the likes of Cornwall Insight – the number of households that find bills unaffordable will jump from 9% to 27% across the UK.
Current 17th Jan 2022 read more »
UK looks at payments to energy suppliers to shield consumers from high bills. The UK is exploring a radical intervention in the power market, under which the state would make payments to energy suppliers when wholesale gas prices go above a certain level.
FT 17th Jan 2022 read more »
One reason for our energy misery is the global gas squeeze, caused by China’s industrial recovery and Russia throwing its flatulent weight around. Another problem has been freakishly calm North Sea weather in 2021, which left many of our wind turbines too sluggish even to decapitate seagulls. Altogether, I suppose you might call it a perfect storm of there not being one. What you have to add to all of that, though, is the bigger, broader problem of a government which talks tough on the environment, yet which brings no real conviction to the fight. And which, as a result, continues to bodge it. For a great example of this, I would refer you to the mad fiasco of the £1.5 billion 2020 green homes grant, which Rishi Sunak promised would “not only cut families’ bills by making their homes more energy efficient” but “also kick-start our economy by creating thousands of green jobs”, In fact it did neither, and would go on to be described by the Public Accounts Committee as a “slam dunk fail” after it upgraded only about 7 per cent of the homes it planned to. “Why the hell should my taxes subsidise your double glazing and insulation?” is a completely reasonable question, right up until the point that you grasp that they’re about to start subsidising my gas and electricity bills instead. Are we really, though, just going to keep on burning? Just that, and only that? HMRC estimates that cutting VAT on energy bills will cost around £1.5 billion; the same as the doomed green homes grant itself.
Times 17th Jan 2022 read more »