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Energy Bills Could Rise 50% Amid ‘National Crisis’ Of Soaring UK Prices | Energy industry

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Energy bills could rise by up to 50% in the spring as the UK faces a “national crisis” over soaring wholesale gas and electricity prices, the industry has warned. ‘energy.

The Energy UK trading body has called on the government to step in to help lower the cost of bills as soaring wholesale prices are bankrupting dozens of energy companies.

“Domestic energy prices will increase by 45 to 50% in the spring,” warned Emma Pinchbeck, Managing Director of Energy UK, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Thursday.

“It looks pretty serious for the spring. It is now a system-wide problem. We ask the UK Treasury to step in like others have done [in Europe]”said Pinchbeck.

As wholesale prices continue to soar, the UK’s price caps on energy bills prevent companies from immediately passing these costs on to their customers. As of October 1, the price cap, set by the industry regulator Ofgem, has been set at a record £ 1,277. It is expected to change on April 1 when Ofgem is expected to significantly increase the cap, which in turn will lead to a significant increase in consumer bills.

“We have had record gas prices across Europe since September and over the last couple of weeks the prices have risen again and they are at levels that we frankly haven’t really faced in the industry. “said Pinchbeck. “Especially not in the winter, with the UK in the midst of a pandemic, and other cost of living and inflation issues. “

Pinchbeck said that only about a fifth of consumers’ energy bills in the UK are under supplier control. The government sets other costs such as VAT and green energy taxes, which could be reduced to help domestic customers.

“A significant portion of the bill is the costs of the policy,” she said. “Many other governments across Europe have reduced taxes or VAT on invoices. In the UK this would save around £ 90 per customer. There are also policy costs on energy bills that the government was consulting on removing, mainly on electricity bills, they could push that forward. This saves around £ 190 per customer.

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Nigel Pocklington, managing director of London-listed Good Energy, called the situation a “national crisis”.

“Wholesale gas and electricity prices have risen to unprecedented levels over the past three weeks, creating an extremely difficult operating environment for all companies in the sector,” he told the Financial Times.

EDF, the UK’s fourth-largest energy supplier, said the situation was “critical” and the government must “act now to support energy customers”. Philippe Commaret, managing director of customers of EDF Energy, said that by next October the UK energy price cap “could easily exceed £ 2,000”.