Why have Electricity Prices gone up?

It’s a valid point actually. One of the various factors behind the current price rises was low wind speeds in the early autumn, and increased reliance on wind, and to some extent solar in the UK, makes us vulnerable. Without a significant contribution from more predictable sources such as tidal or nuclear, continued reliance on fossil fuels is the result. This even resulted in the reintroduction if some coal generation as oil and gas capacity couldn’t cope.

Other factors include the oil and gas price collapse casused by Covid. There were fears, albeit unfounded just now, that these low prices would continue, and when this happens oil and gas companies stop funding exploration and development (including maintenance of existing wells to keep them producing efficiently) so supply is throttled.


Yes, James Hansen gas been saying for decades that we need more nuclear power as a bridge fuel to decarbonisation.

I think that once electricity has been generated and is in the grid, as such, what the consumer actually receives could be from any source. The consumer can choose which generator they want to support financially, but they don’t choose which generator the energy they revive comes from.

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What you say is true , Mike. Having been involved in the design of several coal/oil power stations some time ago I have a reasonable understanding of the financial and eco cost of building, running and decommissioning of these things.

Just in passing, one of the smaller ones I was involved in was at Bell Bay in the Port of Launceston, Tasmania.

The Consultants that I was involved with, Sir Alexander Gibb, we’re involved with the hydro schemes in New Zealand - Togoriro ?


The point I was making, was that most people have no idea where their electricity comes from and are simply driven by either personal financial benefit, or some unrealistic eco-evangelic crusade.


That’s terribly reactionary and really rather dismissive of those who do actually care about our future.

Yes indeed. We are fortunate in NZ that we have something like 80% renewal power generation, mostly hydro. The irony though, is that all additional power demand is met by non-renewable generation, notably coal that is imported, as we have banned local coal mining for being dirty. We now have increasing demand and have very little new generation coming on board. Off course, we can’t build new large scale hydro schemes because of our new environmental laws, even though it’s by having invested in them in the past, we have such environmentally good power production! Such is the life of civil engineers doing good for their community.

We now subsidise electric cars that are powered by electricity generated from said imported coal, so not quite the environmental solution we are told it is. An engineer friend of mine has gone down the route of solar power on his roof with battery storage and they charge their e-car from that, which is a great environmental solution, but this does rely on a significant financial investment,

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I don’t disagree with your sentiment. However, fact is fact, the world is not yet in a position to rely on greener energy. We still need lots and lots of Oil and Gas. For a long time yet.

If we don’t continue with a diversified range of producers and the only remaining big suppliers are OPEC nations and Russia, then the price will go up. (And clearly they will have a very large influence on global politics.)

Face it, the Russians and the Saudis are going to run things if the rotw aren’t going to compete in these markets.


Posts here are stepping into (geo)political comment. Please refrain otherwise the thread won’t last long. Thanks.

Whatever the whys and wherefores of price rises I think we have a major crisis facing UK and presumably other countries if my experience is anything to go by. I was caught out by the imperfectly timed ending of my fixed rate tariff a couple of months ago. At the time my monthly gas and electricity bill was circa £75. It increased to about £130 and has recently increased again to over £140 per month with an advisory that when the next round of cap reviews occurs another significant hike is likely.

I am fortunate enough to be able to absorb these increases, albeit incredulous that they have been allowed to happen. But can you imagine the number of folks across this country and others who can just about manage their current outgoings? With this, material price increases and interest rates rising, we could be facing a severe economic storm in 2022 as more people emerge from their fixed rate deals. I’m really hoping there will be a significant market correction very soon.



It’s not reactionary at all. It’s a simple position of fact.

Your words appear to include people such as myself as uncaring about our future. You are depressingly far from reality in that respect. I simply have a realistic vision of what the future might hold. Jamie has nicely outlined one aspect.

FWIW (ie not much) I have probably been as effective as anybody in recent extensions of the electrification of the U.K. railway system. Whether this is a step in the right direction I’ll leave for another day. But in the big scheme of things concerning climate change, it’s probably about as effective as a drop in the Pacific Ocean.

If a train runs on diesel, it is burning oil, which is guaranteed to cause global warming. If a train is powered by electricity, the electricity is probably generated by combination of burning fossil fuel and renewables, so still causing global warming, but not as much.

Same goes for heating a home with a gas boiler as opposed to an ASHP. With a gas boiler 100% of the heating is provided by burning fossil fuel, whereas heating with an ASHP isn’t

I’d give every household an energy allowance, charges within that allowance would be at a reasonable/affordable rate. Go over your allowance, you pay a lot more.

I’ve used air sourced heat for years now but the rising costs of electricity now means I’m having to put a new GCH system in, the Worcester Life 8000 boiler is currently still boxed in my dining room while the new rads are being done.
So I’ll be able to dump tons of CO² into the atmosphere along with everyone else. :roll_eyes:

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I guess you mean an income tax like bands for usage. That may work, particularly if you ensure the extra paid is forced into investment.

On a separate note:
At 22p kWh (capped rate), a Nissan Leaf costs 7.3p per mile

So currently at £6.59 per gallon - at 35 mpg that’s 19p per mile

Therefore electricity prices only have to triple to make EV more costly. If prices double next year, we are getting very close, which will put a lot of people off.

Not to mention, where is all this extra demand for electricity going to come from. It feels like we are all being pushed down a enormous helter-skelter slide without the end of the slide being finished, or the mats in place


It’s a step in the right direction for sure, but an ASHP still runs on electricity, so depends on whatever proportions of fossil fuels and renewables the grid provides.

If your supply is 100% renewable you are only paying for renewable energy, and therefore not supporting fossil fuel. The fact that the kWhs coming out of the socket are a mix is a red herring and often used as an argument that choosing green energy is pointless. Which, of course, it isn’t.

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You are right about supporting genuinely greener energy of course, even though the capacity isn’t there for everyone to do it. The underlying problems aren’t going away though. An increasing population with a desire to consume more electricity (and more energy generally) is the issue. Probably not something that can be discussed here without crossing the line into politics.

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Yes, it’s a huge issue that will need investment and policy changes.

The original question, ‘why have my prices gone up’ was answered long ago with ‘your supplier went bust and you are now on the price capped default tariff with somebody else’.

We are fine, we are on a fixed tariff and if our bill doubled we would be largely unaffected. But for many this spring it will be a matter of hard choices between heating and eating, which for a rich country is truly despicable. But of course, we can’t go there.

Just to be more specific, the original question was why have Electricity prices got up (more than Gas), and the answer as I understood it in simplistic turns its because due to the increase price of Gas, France for example will export less Nuclear energy to the UK to counteract their costs, and that has a knock on effect of our costs going up.

I think however in terms of the people still on fixed deals, is that that means the companies still supporting these deals is potentially taking a big hit, unless they did purchase the energy beforehand, and that will exacerbate the problem next year. Hard to see how we will get out of this.