Falling UK gas and electricity reserves could send consumers’ energy bills soaring in the coming years, according to forecasts set to be released by Ofgem.
Electricity supply and demand forecasts from the energy regulator, due to be released in the next few weeks, could reveal that critically low energy supplies will see the average dual fuel bill shoot up from £1,400 to £2,000 over the next five years.
According to reports in The Express, the regulator’s forecast is also expected to reveal that a growing reliance on foreign gas imports, due to dwindling supplies in the North Sea, will act to drive up gas prices.
Commenting, Mark Todd, founder of energyhelpline.com, argued that the UK’s “supply crunch” would see energy costs spiralling.
“Coal-fired stations are being closed due to the drive for green energy, and nuclear power stations are gradually becoming defunct,” he said.
“Gas-fired plants are probably closing because the price of gas makes them unprofitable; there is very little storage capacity in the UK and that is likely to fall further.
“We are in a supply crunch and the likelihood is that electricity prices will rise over the next couple of years: 20% does not sound unreasonable.”
Ofgem argued that the reports are no more than “pure speculation”.
Figures from a recent survey conducted by consumer champion Which? revealed that the soaring cost of energy bills is still weighing heavily on consumers’ minds.
The survey found that 83% of those questioned were concerned about the escalating cost of gas and electricity, with this figure climbing to 87% for those in retirement.
Further figures from a survey conducted by the Rexel Foundation and OpinionWay found that almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers would vote for a government that could help them tackle their gas and electricity costs.