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UK Energy Bills Predicted to Rise Another 50% by 2020

After EDF have become the fifth of the big six energy companies to raise their prices in the UK this year, Energy UK, the country’s energy industry trading body, has warned that bills could grow by another 50% before the end of the decade.

Angela Knight, the chief executive officer at Energy UK, has actually defended the price hikes, claiming that the UK has the lowest natural gas prices in Europe, and one of the lowest electricity prices. She states that the push to decarbonise the sector, provide energy security, and keep prices affordable is just proving too much and prices have had to start to creep up.

Guy Johnson, a director at RWE npower, and Benj Sykes, the UK manager for Dong Energy, have agreed that providing a secure supply of energy is more important than keeping costs down, and therefore an acceptable trade.

Related article: Cameron to Cut Green Taxes in Battle over Rising Energy Prices

Knight explained that “the industry has become a lightning conductor for the general concern about the cost of living. As a result we stand accused for things that we do, for things that we don't do, for things that we are responsible for and things that we are not … this is not an understood industry.”

Martin Lawrence of EDF Energy, Ian Peters of British Gas, and Neil Clitheroe of ScottishPower
Martin Lawrence of EDF Energy, Ian Peters of British Gas, and Neil Clitheroe of ScottishPower, were called in front of the energy and climate change select committee on 29 October to justify price rises.

A recent report from the investment bank UBS, says that “UK household energy bills have risen 70% since 2004; we expect them to rise another 46% in nominal terms by 2020,” and also blames 95% of the future increase in energy costs on government policies. – Maybe the conservatives have it right when they suggest reducing the green taxes in order to slow rising costs.

Related article: EC Investigation Calls into Question Sustainability of German Subsidies

Andrew Wright, the chief executive of Ofgem, the country’s energy watchdog, worryingly agreed with the UBS report.

In reference to the new announcement by EDF Energy to increase its prices by 3.9% starting in January, Mark Todd, the director of the price comparison website energyhelpine.com, told the Guardian that “this is the lowest price rise so far at 3.9%, and is set to embarrass the four other big six players that have so far announced hikes averaging 9.1%. It highlights the difference between the companies, proving that they are not simply sheep bleating similar price rises one after another.”

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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