One of the major problems that has affected consumers with tight budgets in recent years has been the way domestic energy prices have risen. For those…
One of the major problems that has affected consumers with tight budgets in recent years has been the way domestic energy prices have risen. For those struggling to pay their debt, increasing gas and electricity bills have made this task harder.
Much consumer anger and disappointment has been directed at the energy suppliers who have been announcing price hikes recently, but while ministers have been pushing for ways to limit the impact – such as introducing measures to ensure companies publish information on bills about cheaper available tariffs – the latest cause of an increase in costs could be driven by the government itself.
The newly-published Energy Bill is to allow energy firms to collectively charge households an extra £7.6 billion between now and 2020 to pay for the development of more renewable, low carbon energy.
Whatever its benefits for the environment or future generating capacity, the cost of this green development may be one that householders dread, with typical annual bills rising substantially. A Daily Telegraph report puts this at £95 and the BBC has stated a figure of £110.
A government statement said: "With a fifth of the UK's electricity generating capacity due to close this decade, reforms are needed to provide certainty to investors to bring forward £110 billion investment in new infrastructure to keep the lights on and continue the shift to a diverse, low carbon economy as cheaply as possible."
This may seem far from cheap to many people and those who are already struggling with debt might see it as the straw likely to break the camel's back.
In such cases, it may be a very wise move to seek debt help, to discover ways of spreading bills out more to allow more leeway, cut out unnecessary costs, find lower-interest deals and even, if needed, seek a debt management plan with creditors.
Concerns about rising bills are set to cause many people to ration their usage of energy this winter, with a recent uSwitch poll finding 87 per cent of consumers expect to do this over the coming cold months.
Posted by Paul Thacker