MSE News: Energy prices: 'The only way is up'

Former_MSE_Helen Posts: 2,382 Forumite
"Households should prepare for energy price hikes, not just over the coming year, but over the next five years too..."
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Energy prices: 'The only way is up'


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  • Newaccount
    Newaccount Posts: 322 Forumite
    These rip off merchants really know how to screw us :mad:

    This is just getting ridiculous now :(
  • WestonDave
    WestonDave Posts: 5,154 Forumite
    Rampant Recycler
    Newaccount wrote: »
    These rip off merchants really know how to screw us :mad:

    This is just getting ridiculous now :(

    Not really - profits per customer for the energy suppliers are pretty low - around £50 per household which isn't going to make much difference.

    The real problem is that we buy our gas (and other fuels) on a world market and have to pay rising world prices for it because there is only a limited amount and an increasing demand for it amongst developing nations. The days of us having a very good life whilst others in other countries have very poor ones may be levelling off somewhere in the middle with us having a worse lifestyle whilst others get closer to what we then have.

    The only solution is to find ways to use less.
    Adventure before Dementia!
  • temporary1
    temporary1 Posts: 37 Forumite
    So, surefire bets, both in the short and long terms, on the stock casinos then. Oil and water too. Mustn't oversupply - gotta keep that inflation high chaps. Keep squeezing and filling the pockets. What profitable rackets.
    Death and taxes aren't the only certainties in life any more.
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Increase the Rent-A-room tax relief from £4,250 to £6,240.

    Around here, university halls of residence rooms are £180 now,
    so private rooms go for £100~£120 per week.

    Relieve the housing shortage, pays for energy bill and council tax.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 29 May 2013 at 9:13PM
    So market forces are to blame? Are you sure? So market forces are not always good then are they? When they make just a few people rich and a lot of people poorer.That's why the public utilities should never have been sold off. They should be not for profit companies owned by the British and run for the British. Market forces are often just another name for market manipulation. If certain necessaries have to be subsidised they should be subsidised in the people's interest, for the common good. Old people and sick people need twice as much electricity as the rest of us, not least cos they are at home all day and feel the cold twice as much. ~Why should they suffer? They are being frozen to death, sometimes literally. At the very least such people should have subsidised prices. Staywarm hardly makes much difference any more. It's a racket.

    From the Financial Times: "The world’s top commodities traders have pocketed nearly $250bn over the last decade," Pascal Soriot new boss of Astrazeneca drug company get's a golden hello of £1m and £4m in shares and £1m a year pay plus his inevitable £1m bonus. Not bad for 3 months work so far. And Centrica's chief executive, Sam Laidlaw, earned a basic salary of £950,000 last year, but bonuses pushed his take-home pay to almost £5m. Nice to think he won't have any problems paying his gas bill.
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Make Goldman Sachs and the rest cough up the profits they make from speculation and manipulation of the commodities markets.

    They are getting so big, I wouldn't be surprised if they are buying and selling countries. Which, in a sense, George Soros was doing by selling Sterling short twenty years ago.
  • I mean,seriously, in the 21st century in a civilised country is it acceptable that citizens are expected to sit at home wrapped up in blankets because the cant afford fuel bills? I think not.
  • WestonDave
    WestonDave Posts: 5,154 Forumite
    Rampant Recycler
    edited 9 April at 2:05PM
    [quote=[Deleted User];61553551]I mean,seriously, in the 21st century in a civilised country is it acceptable that citizens are expected to sit at home wrapped up in blankets because the cant afford fuel bills? I think not.[/QUOTE]

    Agreed, but we need to consider why it is that countries which suffer far more with cold weather, and are subject to the same global prices for energy are able to afford their fuel bills - even though in many of those countries the prices for domestic fuel like electricity and gas are higher than in the UK.

    The answer is that they have got to grips with insulation and energy efficiency whilst we (a bit like the Americans) sat back taking our oil supplies and coal supplies for granted and not worrying how much energy we used because it was cheap. We now have a housing stock which in many cases requires stupid amounts of energy to heat. Often the elderly who are struggling with heating bills are doing so in houses which have little or no insulation because they haven't taken up the various grants etc to get it done for virtually nothing, and in houses which are far too big for their needs (so costing more to heat unnecessary space) because we have this fixation with staying in lifelong homes. When you consider that the Germans have a "standard" which evaluates homes that require no energy for heating (Passivhaus) because they are well enough insulated to run just on heat generated by other activity and captured sunlight heat, you can see how far behind some of our draughty badly insulated homes are.

    Solving that problem cures the energy cost issue once and for all - far better than trying to somehow subsidise home owners to keep wasting energy by contributing to retail energy charges. Nationalising the utilities alone would make very little difference - the profit made per household isn't significant in terms of overall energy bills - you might save £5 per month! That said I agree that privatised utilities have contributed to wasting a lot of the money available for energy efficiency - at ones stage EDF (I think) were offering people £200 cash to have their homes insulated - that's £200 wasted that could be used to insulate another home, but they were doing it because the combination of private utilities and public energy efficiency programmes made it cheaper to give money away than miss their targets!
    Adventure before Dementia!
  • Trix3y
    Trix3y Posts: 39 Forumite
    I felt I must reply to the previous post. The reason why a lot of retired people live in poorly insulated properties is that they are not eligible for financial assistance. The majority of help is directed at people on Pension Credit. Many pensioners are just over the limit to claim Pension Credit but are still on low incomes. I think there is a view that Pensioners can have everything for free,this is simply not the case. Additionally the criteria for the various schemes is constantly being changed. Major measures which could help ie energy efficient boilers and double glazing are not covered under The Green Deal.The reason for this is that any savings must be repaid in a set time scale. This has been my experience. I do agree however,that staying in a large house is simply not cost effective whatever memories are held there. The real problem is the constant escalation of energy prices,and the lack of any Government action. The feeble response recently was only under pressure from consumer groups like Which.Clearly if you are a millionaire then paying for heating and electricity is not an issue or a problem.I would personally like to see all Government Ministers forced to manage on a low income,and see how they enjoyed living in a cold unheated home because they were not able to afford to heat it properly.REALITY CHECK
  • SandraScarlett
    SandraScarlett Posts: 4,133 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    We're a pensioner couple and I've just received my gas bill for the quarter from Scottish & Southern :eek: I pay £60 a month DD and I still owe them £197!!!!

    DH has Alzheimers and feels the cold so much. We have a 2 bed semi detached bungalow, with new double glazing, but it's been such a long and rotten winter, and we've had the heating on nearly every day. And for quite a large chunk of the time, we've had it on 24 hours a day.

    The 19% rise hasn't helped either. :(:(:( Oh well, there's no pockets in a shroud.

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