Why are UK gas prices increasing?

2012 October 12
by Chris Vernon

The media is full of stories about gas prices today. First British Gas (+8%) then nPower (+8.8%). I’ve two observations:

Firstly, there are lots of price data floating around, but it is all either relative percentage rises or total average household bills. This is the wrong way to think about energy. Gas is priced in pence per kWh. So why doesn’t any of the media coverage actually report the price? It’s almost as if we aren’t responsible for the kWh by kWh consumption, instead we’re just lumbered with an annual bill.

Secondly, there’s very little talk of the reason for the rises, the real reason. Quite simply it’s that UK production of has peaked in 2000 and started to decline. By 2004 we were no longer self sufficient and became a net importer. Over the last decade production has halved and prices have more than doubled.

These data aren’t shown on the BBC News website, so here they are, compressed into one simple chart:

UK annual gas cost, production and imports.

So what should we be doing about this?

The first priority is the reduce the number of kWh we use, this means reducing the amount of energy used in our homes. The Bristol based Centre for Sustainable Energy has a website full of energy advice here: www.cse.org.uk/pages/energy-advice They also have a freephone energy advice line to call to discuss domestic energy saving. It is very easy to reduce energy consumption by 8%, our bills need not rise.

One Response leave one →
  1. October 24, 2012

    How are the bees?

    I requeened recently.

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