UK energy prices rising more than twice as fast as Europe

mattInternational

UK gas and electricity prices up by 29.7 per cent in the past year, compared to the 14 per cent European average.

Norway is the only European nation that faced higher price rises in the last year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed.

The UK Energy market is under scrutiny this week after the OECD report revealed that the UK comes second on the list of price hikes in the last year, with a figure of 29.7 per cent. Only Norway beats the UK with a whopping 35.8%, with countries such as Germany experiencing price hikes of just 12.2%, while France has seen increases of 14%.

Part of the reason for the result is the UK’s capacity for storing gas, with Britain currently only able to store 4% of our annual gas consumption. In comparison with Germany and France, who can store over 20% of their annual needs. This makes it harder for the UK to buy gas when it’s cheap, and store it.

Euro gas problems

The UK’s reliance on imported gas is also continuing to rise as our own reserves are depleted, with experts estimating that 80% of gas will be imported by 2015.

Questions have been raised as to whether foreign firms are ‘picking the pocket’ of UK consumers, with the European power monopolies buying cheap British gas in the summer, storing it, then refusing to sell it back to the UK in winter when it is needed, effectively rationing supplies and pushing up prices.

A spokesman for the Energy Retailers Association said: ‘What the OECD’s figures fail to demonstrate is that British customers have enjoyed historically very low prices compared to Europe and indeed the rest of the world. ‘We are no longer an energy island. With increased demand from growing economies such as India and China, the prices we now pay for our energy are more vulnerable to fluctuations across the world.’