Households face impossible burden as gas prices soar 70%

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Household energy bills could rise even further after gas prices soared by more than 70% to hit a new all-time high. It comes as fears over supplies from Russia continued to rock the market.

Prices are now more than 20 times higher than they were just two years ago. They increased on Monday 7 March from what were already record highs last week.

The price of a therm of gas, the commonly used measure, shot up to around 800p on Monday morning. It had been at around 460p on Friday 4 March.

It’s likely to place an even greater burden on households. Energy prices are set to increase by more than 50% to close to £2,000 for the average household on 1 April.

Regulation?

Already last week, when gas was trading at much lower levels than on 7 March, experts predicted the price cap will rise by around £1,000 in October when it is next changed. The new price cap will be at more than £2,900.

However, the rise could come sooner depending on what industry regulator Ofgem decides.

Read on...

Earlier this year, the watchdog gave itself new powers to step in between price cap periods to adjust the amount that suppliers can charge.

It came as the price of oil also surged to its highest for 14 years. This was after Washington revealed it’s in talks with European allies over banning Russian oil imports.

The prices of both commodities have shot up since Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine less than two weeks ago.

The EU relied on Russia for around 46% of its gas and around a quarter of its oil in the first part of 2021.

So far, European and US sanctions have not directly targeted Russia’s energy exports – which prop up the country’s economy – because of fears of the knock-on effects.

The UK is less reliant on Russian imports than many countries in Europe, but prices here tend to track those in the continent. However, prices in France are reportedly only rising by 4%.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Of course, the UK’s privatised energy sector and its lack of substantial gas storage facilities – left to the market – leave the UK government with little control over the energy prices UK consumers are forced to pay. The delights of capitalism!

      1. Well in 2017 the government decided to shut the gas storage facilities that had been built and maintained by the publicly-owned British Gas/Centrica. These comprised about 70% of the UK’s gas storage. The government opined that the UK’s new, renewable energy sources were so reliable and productive that the money spent on maintaining the gas storage facilities was simply wasted.
        The wisdom of public ownership and management has never been more demonstrably inefficient.

    2. ‘The prices of both commodities have shot up since Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine less than two weeks ago.’

      How can you fail to make the link between the action Russia has taken and the battle to control energy resources? The US has been engineering such a conflict for several years and Russia would not have risked doing this unless it was a last resort; they were provoked.
      When people in this country are on the streets campaigning against rocketing food and fuel prices I hope The Canary isn’t so sympathetic to the Banderites who would do to their own citizens what the Al-Nusra front did to Syrian citizens i.e. butcher them.
      At least you won’t need to fear being censored with this line of journalism.

    3. Only shills for western imperialism could call Putin’s actions “unprovoked.” Is that what The Canary has become? What Putin is doing is wrong but as journalists you should learn a little about the history of the region.

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