The energy price cap was announced on October 1st to the delight of many money-conscious Britons.
The cap referred to the price an energy company was allowed to charge the ‘average’ customer for their gas and electricity. Promising to protect the public from private businesses shedding soaring energy costs onto their customers.
However, a general state of confusion seemed to ripple through the country. The misconception? That a household wouldn’t have to pay any more than £2,500 per month on their energy bills. But the fixed rate per kWh referred to the consumption of an ‘average’ household. Meaning you could end up paying far more than the capped rate.
Still, in comparison to the previous threat of a £1,578 rise, this was music to the ears of fearful energy users. Users who could finally put the decision of heating or eating to bed this winter.
But just as the UK settled into the idea that their energy bills were relatively safe for at least the next two years, a spanner was hurled into the works. Former Prime Minister Lizz Truss’ bold opening policy was cut short. Now, the promise of a £2,500 price cap will last all of six months – rather than the previously ‘guaranteed’ two years.
What does it mean?
With uncertainty gripping the nation once again, people are left wondering what this U-turn will mean for their families.
Jeremy Hunt, who announced the reversal of the price cap, claimed that the government now plans to target the six-month policy to those who need it most, those who will struggle as the days get shorter and colder.
Seemingly offering words of comfort, Hunt expressed the apparent upside of this sudden U-turn: after April, the taxpayer will pay ‘significantly less.’ Perhaps he believes the public won’t consider the monumental rise in energy prices if the government doesn’t find a way to bridge the gap.
How much will we pay?
Cornwall Insight, who provide energy market intelligence and analysis, have speculated bills to hit a staggering £4,347.69 in April. Their prediction sees gas rising to £2,286.70 and electricity to £2,060.99 between April and June.
The new approach, whatever it may be, will ‘better incentivise energy efficiency’. But there are very few words of comfort the government can offer to ease the ripple of fear passing through the country. For those without solar and / or battery storage, costs will continue to soar, exacerbated by the cost of living, and managing your money becomes increasingly difficult when the Prime Minister can’t even predict next week’s spending.
A Solar-powered Future
It seems the British public are about to find themselves dangled over a cliff’s edge; their futures as uncertain as the market itself. The small glimmer of certainty Truss’s price cap offered has been swept unceremoniously from under our feet. As households frantically cancel holidays and return prematurely purchased Christmas gifts, the reality of a precarious future settles in.
In the midst of a turbulent economic crisis, Britain must focus their attention on viable, renewable, energy sources. The only way to secure Britain’s future and stabilise the public’s bills is to move away from undependable fossil fuels. There has never been a better time to invest in the solar industry. To invest in your future. Enough is enough. It’s time to take energy independence into our own hands and away from those whose interests are far removed from the people they represent.