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To heat or to eat? Britons' soaring energy bills

Saeed Pourreza
Press TV, London

Five months into an energy crisis in the UK and a controversial blogpost by one of the country’s major energy suppliers has prompted a wave of outrage.  It comes as average households face a sharp rise in their energy bills starting in spring coupled with rising taxes and stalling wages.

If you want to keep warm this winter and can’t afford to keep your heating on, wear an extra layer, do star jumps or hug your pet for warmth, if you have one; that is three of 10 recommendations from Britain’s third largest energy supplier to British households.

The company’s founder has since apologized but also said, ‘Globally, energy prices are going up and we need a system that consumers pay the true cost of energy. Nothing else is sustainable, nothing else works for the entire country. With 28 million homes, it’s 50 billion in energy costs this year. There is no way to magically make that lower.’

There may not be a magical way of pushing energy prices down, but there must be something the government can do to contain the situation, like a working energy strategy.

With barely any rise in their income, and faced with rising taxes, millions of British households, are shaking at the prospect of a nearly 50 percent increase in their energy bills in spring.

Since October last year, the price cap, set by industry regulator, Ofgem, has been at 1,754 dollars. That is expected to rise by nearly a thousand dollars in April when Ofgem raises the cap significantly, which will in turn result in consumers’ bills rising significantly.

While the British government drags its feet on dealing with a looming cost of living catastrophe caused by stalling wages and rising tax and energy bills, less fortunate Britons will have a tough winter to battle through, with or without a pet for warmth. 

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