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PaulS's picture

Energy Bills to reach £2000

Of course energy bills will rise much higher than this, but here is a start. Hopefully more people will start taking steps to take charge of their own energy usage and energy generation through the many avenues avaiable to us all.

Full article here:

Warning over '£2,000 energy bills'

Household gas and electricity bills could reach £2,000 without drastic action to shore up the UK's energy supply, regulator Ofgem has warned.

The watchdog said the country could have to spend as much as £200 billion to secure supply and meet environmental targets as it faces a capacity shortfall from soon-to-expire power stations.

Ofgem's review of Britain's energy market says household bills will rise between 14% and 25% from 2009 levels by 2020 in four scenarios which weigh up different levels of investment on infrastructure and the pace of global recovery from recession.

In its worst-case scenario - that of a strong resurgence in global economies along with missed renewable and carbon targets - the watchdog warned that consumer bills could peak at more than 60% higher by 2016 before falling back.

Consumer group Which? criticised the level of investment in energy infrastructure to date.

Fiona Cochrane, the group's energy campaigner, said: "The way consecutive governments have passed the buck on this issue is tantamount to negligence. By ignoring security of supply for so long, they've saddled consumers with what could be a colossal bill. We can't allow a situation where we have to choose between paying a king's ransom for our energy or face the lights going out."

The average household is currently paying £804 a year on gas and £443 a year on electricity, a total of £1,247, and this would rise to peak at £1,995 a year if the gloomiest prediction proved accurate.

The cheapest of Ofgem's scenarios - involving a slow economic recovery coupled with global green stimulus packages - would see annual bills hitting £1,421 by 2020.

Households have already seen average annual energy bills almost double since 2003 as wholesale prices have soared, although there has been a marginal decrease since last year's peak.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "It's critical we maximise the effect of our planning reforms, clean energy rewards and efficiency measures to shift us away from fossil fuels and into a low-carbon mix."

And a related article on how factory prices are already going up, even before the start of a short lived recovery:

Full article here:

Fuel costs hit factory gate prices

Factory gate prices jumped last month as the Treasury's latest hike in fuel duty came into force, official figures have showed.

Output prices rose 0.5% between August and September pushed up by higher petrol prices, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The Chancellor's latest 2p rise - which came into force at the beginning of the month - added an estimated 0.2% to the output price index, the ONS added.

The month-on-month rise pushed the annual rate of increase in factory gate prices to 0.4% - the highest since April after four months of prices declining year-on-year.

The latest figure is higher than expected by most economists and comes as the impact of the steady rise in oil prices in the months leading up to July 2008's record begins to drop out of this year's figures for comparison purposes.

Crude prices declined steeply in the second half of last year, so relatively unchanged prices or a shallower fall this time around creates an inflationary effect in the figures.

IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer said the the figures were "yet another example of inflation recently being firmer than expected". He added: "It suggests that manufacturers may have been trying to take advantage of the recent overall stabilisation in output to try to improve their margins. However, it seems likely that manufacturers will have to limit their prices over the coming months."

The Bank of England has slashed interest rates to a record low of 0.5% and made unprecedented efforts to boost the money supply through quantitative easing amid worries of a Japan-style deflationary slump.

But inflation has not fallen as far as expected, mainly due to the diminishing prospects of lower gas and electricity prices this year and a weaker pound.

More official figures showed the UK's trade gap in goods with the rest of the world shrinking from £6.4 billion to £6.2 billion in August - the smallest deficit in three years. "The tentative global recovery may finally be allowing UK exporters to make the most of the previous drop in the pound," Capital Economics' Vicky Redwood said.

... until oil prices rise and reverse the recovery ...