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Energy prices are rising in the UK by fairly large margins. Last week SSE, one of the largest energy companies in Great Britain, said that it will increase its prices by 8.2% from the 15th of November; British Gas has just followed suit by announcing that its prices will rise 9.2% on the 23rd of November. More suppliers are expected to declare similar rises in the coming months.
The UK is already a country pushed to the edge of bankruptcy by the financial crisis, and these hikes in energy prices are doing no favours for some of its poorer communities, where, as EcoSeed puts it, families may have to begin choosing between “heating and eating.”
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The rapid rise in energy prices over recent years has far outpaced any other commodity, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem as though the rate of increase is set to slow anytime soon.
If prices continue to rise, the situation for families in the UK will only get worse, and at some point the government may be forced to intervene. Labour have stated that they will freeze energy prices if they manage to win the 2015 general election, and whilst this will prevent further increases, it doesn’t help if people are already unable to pay their energy bills. Another solution would be for the installation of renewable energy, especially rooftop solar panels.
Greg Barker, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, recently spoke at the Solar Energy UK conference to outline the government’s plans to increase the amount of installed solar capacity in the UK. Over the next ten years the British government wants to see solar generation capacity increase from 1.7GW to 20 gigawatts.
Homeowners who install rooftop solar panels on their homes will dramatically reduce their energy bills each year, by producing free power from the sun. IKEA’s plan to begin selling solar panels at stores across the UK could help families cope with increasing prices offered by the grid.
Related article: Scotland Now Receives 40 Percent of its Power from Renewables
EcoSeed suggests that if a large number of UK households installed renewable energy devices in favour of using fossil fuel, then the country’s carbon emissions would fall drastically. It claims that one solar panel can save a home about a tonne of carbon dioxide a year, totalling 30 tonnes over the panels lifetime, and having a huge impact on carbon emissions if widespread across the country.
Whilst solar panels on most homes around the country seems a bit far-fetched at the moment, every time energy companies raise their prices it becomes more of a viable option.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com