Electricity prices in the UK have been rising steadily for a few years now, leaving consumers and industry struggling to pay.
For the first time in history, the UK (England and Wales, specifically) has higher electricity rates than both Ireland and Spain. Considering both Ireland and Spain have higher tourist rates, this is a huge deal.
For comparison purposes, the pre-tax price of power in a typical British household is £14.80 for every unit of electricity used. On the cheaper end of the spectrum is Denmark, where the price is £9.35, and Bulgaria where the price is £5.75.
People have been questioning the reason for the hike in prices for some time now. Researchers believe they have a few answers as to why this is happening.
Why Is it Happening?
The heightened electricity rates are a result of many different factors, one being the countries’ inability to predict the competition. They are trying to mimic the competition, and yet end up trumping them instead.
Another part of the problem comes into play with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, the development of which was supposed to help secure the UK’s energy future. As The Telegraph reported, the Hinkley is an example of a “poorly designed government [intervention].”
The issue is that the government felt pressure to “[decarbonise] the UK’s electricity supply” and “to secure new power generating plants as coal plants continue to close,” which caused them to push for the Hinkley project. As a result, however, energy prices will see another rise, thereby putting the goal of cutting carbon above the need for reliable, low cost energy.
This is just one example of a project meant to improve energy in the UK resulting in a spike in prices. The minute initiatives are put in place to help bring the cost down, the costs spike.
Once the projects have been completed the prices plateau at their new price. Then another project is put into the place, such as the Hinkley C Reactor, causing a price increase again. Upon completion of this project, it is speculated that the prices will remain at their new heightened state.
How to Lower Your Electricity Bill
There are some reasons for using electricity that you simply can’t avoid. Your fridge is going to have to remain plugged in at all times. And during the winter you are naturally going to use more electricity as it gets darker earlier.
However there are some simple things you can do that, when combined, can put a sizable dent in your electricity bill. To start, unplug all electronics and appliances when not in use.
Sometimes just ensuring everyone in your household is being courteous and turning off lights when they leave the room they’re in can help.
Changing out your light bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs is another great way to use less energy when you have no choice but to have the lights on. And while your fridge does need to stay plugged in, there are models on the market now that use less energy. That’s something to keep in mind when you are purchasing any new appliance!
Depending on how cold it gets in the winter time, even just keeping your thermostat set a few degrees cooler than usual can help. Using fans can also help to keep a room colder or warmer without having to pump up the heat or air conditioner.
How you cook can make a big difference, too! Microwaves use far less energy than electric stoves do, so choose the latter when heating up leftovers.
And electric stoves? Those are cheaper than propane barbecues, but natural gas barbecues and stoves are cheaper still.