Updated: Feb 17
I can't imagine any time in 100 years when energy costs go up by 252% (our experience) and the government does very little about it.
In 2015 we found the best and fair price we could for Gas & Electricity when we moved back from Manchester to Wales. We purchased a four bedroom detached property. It was old, it needed loads of renovation, a new roof, a re-wire, some floors needed levelling and we also fitted a new kitchen.
While I'm thankful that we as a family get to live in a house this size, the challenges with the house have been tough along the way.
In September 2021, we like many others were notified that our energy supplier (PFP Energy) went bust, as did several other small suppliers - about 8 million customers across those companies were now thrown back to the larger more capitalised and profitable suppliers. We could smell the bad deal that was coming, a mile off.
When we left PFP Energy we had a combined energy bill of £193 per month. We liked to keep the house warm as we had a young child. We had no debt with PFP Energy or any plan, or need to shop around.
When we got the surprise letter from British Gas - that PFP Energy had gone bust and British Gas was 'taking over', we were assured by that we would get a lower cost deal for a while, but that we could expect some rises - they were helping us.
What a load of rubbish.
With the failure of many of the small competitors of the big five energy suppliers a new monopoly exists in the UK.
Our £193 payment to PFP Energy has now gone up to £485.85 per month with British Gas. We had racked up whopping £1,274.68 bill for the first quarter (Sep - Dec) with British Gas, a complete shock to us. We hadn't done anything different, and British Gas has promised a slow transition to higher prices. We estimates from British Gas projecting our use having submitted meter readings and old PFP Energy consumption reports. The original projection was £1,050.87 for Gas and £1,122.47 for Electricity. Total £2,173.34 over the year £181.11 per month. Good and reasonable we thought.
Yet now in the second quarter we face a yearly cost of £5,830.20 (Jan - Dec 2022) having paid off the first 'gulp' quarter (Sep - Dec 2021) of £1,274.68 in full.
British Gas will now charge us £5,830.20 for the same property we were paying £2,316 for. An increase of 252%.
I asked British Gas to move us to their lowest locked in tariff, they told me we were on that tariff, when I then asked for a list of their tariffs and unit prices, they told me they could not provide me with that. I've also not been able to find a list of their tariffs online.
I can't imagine any time in my life where such a critical resource has increased by so much in such a short period.
Our monthly energy cost moving forward isn't far off the monthly cost of our mortgage.
Where is the Government in this, and how can such steep rises be allowed ?
Even worse, in April the Standard Variable rate price cap will be increased which will cause even more increases, increases to vulnerable families, older people living alone, large families etc.
I did some calculations today..
The average cost of energy across house sizes in the UK was £97 per month before Covid. Source https://www.loveenergysavings.com/content-hub/energy-talk/how-much-is-the-average-uk-home-energy-bill/
The Energy Price Cap will rise by £693 per house hold in April. Source https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/price-cap-increase-ps693-april
The 4.5 million people on pre-payment meters will see huge increases upto £2,017 in some cases. Source https://news.sky.com/story/cost-of-living-millions-face-energy-bill-hike-as-ofgem-lifts-price-cap-12531711
There are 29 million homes in the UK, of that
4.5 million on Pre-paid meters, facing an average increase of £1,185.50 per year
A total increase of £5.33 billion
24.5 million will see a price cap increase of £693 per year
A total increase of £16.98 billion
The government has offered a one off reduction in council tax of £150 a year and a further £200 in the form of a loan paid back at £40 a year for five years (so not counting that)
A Total saving of £4.5 billion
Bottom line is £17.81 billion a year will now go into the pockets of energy suppliers and their downstream distribution IE The British Gases of the world. Do I think for one minute British Gas will keep the same profit as last year, personally I think it will sky rocket.
We had the same energy before September last year - now it's 252% more expensive.
If the Government had Nationalised Gas & Electric the Government would be able to regulate prices, yet there is no desire.
The prospect of this CATASTROPHE is that single mothers in a flat with a child have a choice between Heating or Eating.
Older friends will find the cheapest thing to eat, will bypass medical treatment because they cannot pay for prescriptions. Food Banks will be at breaking point. Charity giving will be down as people tighten their belts. In our house we are already £292.85 worse off and that money has to be found somewhere, so we'll be cutting back like everyone else.
Kier Starmer has raised this in Government, yet the media and government are not paying enough attention to this looming crisis.
And it's not the end, the projections are that by next summer (2023) we will see a further similar increase.
How will this impact you - Comments please.