The biggest gas and electricity stories of 2013
Price rises, politicians switching energy suppliers and pando poo – find out what energy articles set tongues wagging in 2013
This was without a doubt the big gas and electricity story this year. Each of the big six, and many independent suppliers, raised prices this winter, leaving eight in 10 households expecting to ration their energy use.
A promise to remove green levies will see £50 taken off the average annual energy bill, but for many households this will not wipe off even half of the winter price rises.
Speaking during September’s Labour party conference, Ed Miliband told supporters that should he be elected, he would freeze energy rates for 20 months. This statement, coupled with the winter price rises, saw the debate around the energy market hit the front pages of most newspapers.
David Cameron referred to the promise as a “con” and said he would focus on improving competition within the sector to ensure cheaper prices.
A number of analysts spoke out against the Miliband’s pledge and said it would deter investment in the energy market.
This year fracking featured heavily in the energy news section, Cuadrilla’s exploratory drilling in West Sussex was heavily protested, politicians and analysts said fracking would and wouldn’t impact energy bills and plans to frack may be delayed due to EU legislation.
This topic looks set to remain at the heart of the energy news in 2014.
Following a report that stated that there were 24,000 avoidable deaths per year in England and Wales, the government’s Cold Weather Plan urged Brits to keep warm this winter.
The article received numerous comments, many of which pointed out that it was difficult to keep warm in a landscape dominated by gas and electricity price rises.
One of our most-read stories of the year revealed that the percentage of households switching energy supplier in the second half of 2013 fell to just 2%. Surprising news, given the high volume of fixed price plans which came to an end during this period.
A follow-up story, posted in mid-December, highlighted research by an energy think tank, which pointed out that a lack of switching could be responsible for creating an uncompetitive gas and electricity market.
Back in October, Labour leader Ed Milliband told journalists that he left E.ON for First Utility after receiving a £1,000 energy bill. He added that he wasn’t sure how much he had saved as his wife had handled the switch.
The news was certainly of interest to readers, and the piece has currently has 132 comments, ranging from the cynical to the supportive.
One of the more light-hearted stories of the year was also one of our favourites.
American researchers working with pandas Ya Ya and Le Le, found that the key to sustainable energy may be found in their poo. Confused? Well, it’s all down to a type of bacteria that inhabits their faeces, read on for more.