Higher Costs For Years

According to a report from Cornwall Insight, a leading forecaster, UK households may have to pay more for their energy bills in 2024, as the electricity market prices are expected to increase and stay high for the rest of the decade.

The global energy crisis has temporarily eased some of its immediate pressures, but the situation remains unstable and uncertain for energy markets, geopolitics, and the global economy. The risk of more disruptions is always looming. Fossil fuel prices have dropped from their 2022 highs, but markets are nervous and fluctuating. The ongoing war in Ukraine, which started with Russia’s invasion more than a year ago, is now joined by the threat of a prolonged conflict in the Middle East.

The report also said that electricity prices would not go back to the levels before the energy crisis, even as more renewable energy sources are connected to the grid. This is because the UK is likely to miss its target of expanding offshore wind capacity to 50GW by 2030, due to rising costs in the supply chain.

Tom Edwards, a senior modeller at Cornwall Insight, warned that delaying the UK’s transition to renewable energy would have negative consequences for both the environment and the consumers. He said that without a strong commitment to a greener and more sustainable future, achieving net zero emissions and lower energy bills would become harder and harder.

The forecast from Cornwall Insight shows that high gas and electricity prices are here for the next 5 years +.

What Can We Do & Why It’s Important?

According to fuel poverty charities, more people are living in cold homes and risking their health because of soaring energy bills. Last winter, about 240,000 more households had to endure temperatures below 18 degrees Celsius for longer periods than the previous winter.

“People will have to change their habits”, says Simon Kilshaw, Green Doctor Manager, if they are to control the costs of their energy. “We have a series of small, practical steps that people can take, some of which we have published on YouTube. Once these have been followed then it’s really a case of being aware of your daily usage of appliances. Smart meters can help with this, they can show how much energy an appliance uses, to allow you to make decisions about when it’s used. A quick example is that if you’re cooking for one or two people then an Air Fryer tends to be much cheaper, however it depends on your own circumstances, sometimes a traditional oven can be cheaper, if you are batch cooking and freezing food then an oven will be the cheapest method.”

“We had our busiest time ever last Winter”, stated Simon “and we are expecting this year will be just as busy.”

This has led to people taking drastic actions, such as turning off their fridges, going without heating and hot food, as reported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in October. Taking such action can lead to poor health so we strongly advice that people seek help early. Our Green Doctor service has been able to help people in very difficult circumstances get control of their energy bills without them having to turn off all their appliances.

What To Do If You Are in Fuel Debt?

If you seek support early from the utility company, or an independent advice agency, like Citizens, Advice or the Green Doctor, it will help you more in the long run.

Good advice is available from many sources to help you understand your rights if you are in fuel debt. One useful source is from Fuel Poverty Action: download their PDF.

Our Green Doctor service offers free, independent advice to help UK residents stay warm, stay well, and save money on household bills. For further information please visit: https://www.groundwork.org.uk/greendoctor/