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UK energy bills to rise even higher as suppliers warn of ‘nationwide crisis’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A gas cooker (Reuters photo)

The new year could see further increases to energy bills in the United Kingdom, providers have warned.

Speaking to the Financial Times, several providers including Good Energy, EDF and the trade body Energy UK called on the government to intervene as a matter of urgency.

The warning comes as the cost of gas in wholesale markets increased by over 500 percent in less than a year.

The situation is a “nationwide crisis,” said the chief executive of Energy UK, Emma Pinchbeck.

“Other treasuries in Europe have already responded to the crisis, but in the UK, the energy sector is still asking if the chancellor knows that energy bills going up by over 50 percent in the new year is a problem for ordinary people, businesses and the economy,” Pinchbeck told the Financial Times.

Also, Nigel Pocklington, chief executive of Good Energy, a small renewable energy company, told the newspaper the UK might hit a “national crisis”.

Recent increases in prices created “an extremely difficult operating environment for every business in the industry,” Pocklington said.

Household energy bills could soar to record £2,000 a year. The price cap – which eases the burden for families – might have to be raised by over 50 percent in April because of unprecedented wholesale costs, according to experts.

The cap currently reviewed is set every six months. An increase of 12 percent in bills was authorized from October onwards, with a typical household ending up paying costs of £1,277 on a standard tariff.

Meanwhile, another announcement is slated to be made in February for a second increase in April, with a rise already unavoidable to pay for the collapse of over two dozen UK energy companies in recent months.

Since the start of September, over two dozen energy suppliers have gone bust, causing thousands of job losses, and leaving millions of homes in limbo as they wait to be set up with a new supplier.

The cost of the collapse of these energy firms is likely to recouped from energy bills.

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