Energy Prices Rise, People Writhe To Escape Financial Struggle

24 March 2022

Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) announced recently that wholesale gas price caps are set to rise 54% this April in the UK, following a quadruple rise in the last year. There are many reasons for this, mainly increased demand from Asia, mainly China, due to hot weather and need for air-conditioning service. Other causes include the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia being the largest natural gas exporter cut off from UK’s trade, windless weather which renders wind energy generation ineffective and the pandemic which limited production and increased home energy demand. However, with major rises like these come anxiety and struggle among the people – in this article we will explore the human consequences of energy price rise.

We interviewed teachers at The Beacon to learn of the issues and lifestyle changes the rise has induced. Mr Privett said: ‘It’s really going to affect me in April when the rise happens”. We then asked how he has attempted to negate the effects of previous increases. “Petrol prices have gone up massively, so I try to walk or use a bike instead of drive places. Also making sure to turn off heating and lights whenever I can, and even showering at the gym to reduce water heating”. He even went as far to say that “everyone’s living off debt now”. 

Miss Kearns admitted to being ‘terrible’ at money management regarding the rises, which is unexpected for a Maths teacher! Despite this, she is aware of gas price increases, monitors her own situation and takes precautions to reduce negative effects. Her husband manages her bills and tells her that the energy usage has spiked during lockdown. She makes sure to “turn of lights” and “heating in the summer”. She doesn’t have it too bad though. Her friends in Ireland mainly use oil, which has skyrocketed in the last year. Every time they fill up their tank, it costs £500 more than the last!

It is clear that British citizens will be emptying their pockets in the coming months just for gas, not to mention inflation and tax rises. This future seems unsustainable, but perhaps we need to reform our lifestyle and spending habits, changing our society with help from the government. Even now, the government is taking action to help alleviate effects of rises, including regulating British prices at the pump and financial support for the poorest. “The people with lots of money need to do things to help,” Mr Privett said. “We as a society need to think of the bigger picture and how we can adapt”.

By Sean T and Luke H

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