As’stratospheric wholesale gas prices’ threaten to cause a national crisis,’ providers warn that energy bills will rise up to half a percent in 2019. This warning comes as Iain Duncan Smith (former Tory leader) accused Putin of holding Europe hostage. 

Good Energy, EDF and the trade group Energy UK have urged the Government to immediately intervene as the gas prices rose in wholesale markets by over 500% in just a year.

Energy UK chief executive Emma Pinchbeck described the current situation as a “nationwide crisis” and said on BBC Radio 4’s Today that domestic energy prices would rise 45%-45% in spring. 

It is still a serious issue for spring. It is an issue that affects the entire system. As others have done, we are asking the Treasury to step in. [in Europe].’

Gas prices have surged over recent months. This graph shows wholesale prices up to November 30

Recently, gasoline prices have increased dramatically. This chart shows wholesale prices as of November 30.

Twenty-five providers have collapsed since the end of the summer, affecting more than four million households

Over four million households have suffered from the fall of twenty-five service providers that collapsed after the last summer. 

Iain Duncan Smith criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for “driving up prices” by restricting supply, and claimed Europe was in his control. Boris Johnson, he said, should tell ‘crusties” about how they object to the UK using its resources to ‘get lost.

“The simple answer is yes. MailOnline said that it was time to get your own gas.

“We sit on an isolated island, surrounded by oil and gas. We were once net exporters. Now we are net importers. This is not because our supply has run out. Instead, successive governments have stopped exploratory and development.

“So, the end result now is that we are dependent on dodgy regimes such as Putin and other for our gas. That may be a relief to some fanatical environmentists who don’t want Britain to get gas.

“But we still need gas. Or else we close down. This means that we have become dependent on dodgy systems.

Sir Iain mentioned that there were both North Sea supplies and untapped gas from shale on the ground.

“Why would Putin and the other dangerous leaders try to hold us captive when we already have our own oil, gas and energy? He stated. He said, “These guys will raise the price because they cut supply.”

Iain Duncan Smith was a Tory former leader who blamed Russia to drive up gas prices 

“Who would want to live in Putin’s hands, in China’s hands or with the Belarusians? Or in any other dodgy regimes around the globe that force us to borrow and steal gas?”

He said, “Just tell those crusties who spend their time complaining they still have to live off gas even though they don’t love it,”

Energy companies are prevented from immediately passing on rising gas prices to consumers due to the UK’s price cap on energy bills – currently set at £1,277.

Since September began, more than 20 energy suppliers went bankrupt. This has left thousands without work and millions in uncertainty while they search for new suppliers.

Ofgem, an industry regulator, is expected to raise the cap substantially starting April 1. This will result in higher prices to consumers.

“We’ve had record breaking gas prices in Europe since September, and prices have risen again over the past couple of weeks and are at levels that we honestly haven’t faced in this industry,” Ms. Pinchbeck stated.

“Particularly not during winter periods, when the UK is in the middle of an epidemic and other costs of living problems and inflation.

Energy providers have forecast that bills for consumers could rise by up to 50% in the spring

According to energy providers, bills could go up by as much as 50% for spring consumers according to forecasts.  

Energy UK boss claimed that less than a fifth of the customers’ energy bills are under control of suppliers and that most of the remainder is made up of extra costs, including VAT and green levies.

According to her, ‘A substantial portion of the bill are policy costs.’ “Many governments in Europe have cut taxes and VAT on their bills. In the UK that would save around £90 per customer.

“There are policy costs associated with energy bills, which the government is currently consulting to remove, primarily on electricity bills. They could also bring those forward. That saves about £190 per customer.’

Here are 25 UK energy businesses that went bust in the past few years 

  • Neon Energy Limited
  • Social Energy Supply Ltd
  • CNG Energy
  • Omni Energy Limited 
  • MA Energy Limited
  • Zebra Power Limited
  • Ampoweruk Ltd
  • Bluegreen Energy Services Limited 
  • GOTO Energy Limited 
  • Daligas Limited 
  • Pure Planet 
  • Colorado Energy
  • Igloo Energy 
  • Symbio Energy 
  • Enstroga 
  • Avro Energy
  • Green Supplier Limited
  • Utility Point
  • People’s Energy 
  • PFP Energy
  • MoneyPlus Energy
  • HUB Energy
  • Entice Energy
  • Orb Energy
  • Zog Energy 

Nigel Pocklington is the chief executive officer of Good Energy, a small firm that produces renewable energy. He said that the UK faces a “national crisis” after rising prices have created an “extremely difficult operating environment for all businesses in the sector”.

EDF Energy informed the Government of the critical situation and advised it to act quickly in support of customers.

According to suppliers, the price will go on the national level and put more pressure on rising prices.

Energy industry workers blame the cap on energy prices for part of their problems. The energy price cap is usually set every six month. As gas prices continue to rise, suppliers have been forced to sell their electricity to consumers at steep losses.

Ofgem, the industry regulator has offered a number of solutions for the problems that the price cap can cause in extreme situations.

They include revising the price cap at least once per three months and reintroducing it to a fixed rate for six months.

Jane Foley, senior currency specialist at Rabobank, said energy companies who had picked up customers from collapsed rivals had already spent about £1.8billion on buying energy from them in the wholesale markets.

‘That £1.8bn won’t be the end of the story,’ she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘It’s likely to go up to about £2.5bn, because the £1.8bn is solely the cost of the extra energy they’ve had to go and buy on the wholesale markets for these new customers.

“When you consider the additional IT staff, your final bill will likely be higher. And when it’s passed onto consumers it could be a lot more than £100.’

When asked if she was concerned about security in the UK’s energy supply, she replied: “Well, I believe the answer to that is yes. The government dismisses any question about security of UK energy supplies and declares there is no problem.

“Experts say the government needs to urgently revise their security policy which was last updated in 2017. This is before Brexit.

“We have a lot liquid natural gas headed towards Europe. But Brexit may change the equation regarding how secure we are as independent countries.