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Energy price rise warning from Ofgem

The UK will face rising energy bills as the UK depends more on imports, warns regulator.


Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan

The energy regulator Ofgem has warned that energy bills will go up due to power station closures and an increasing reliance on imports.

The comments, made by Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan, come as older power stations are taken offline with newer renewable energy sources still not ready.

Problems in ‘three to five years’

The shortfall means that power capacity, according to Mr Buchanan, will become very tight in ‘three to five years time’ with plant closures already authorised.

Speaking to the BBC he said: “We’re going to have to go shopping in world markets at a time when they will be very tight themselves.”

“There isn’t a single person or people to blame. In my view it was a single event – the financial crisis.

“Before the financial crisis the government had backed a a visionary approach to energy on wind, water and nuclear… then came the financial tsunami.”

His comments come just three days after David Cameron’s remarks that the government’s renewable energy policy, as laid out in the Energy Bill, should focus on bringing down bills, not green ‘preaching’.

40% of electricity comes from old coal stations

Responding to Mr Buchanan’s comments, Angela Knight CBE, chief executive of Energy UK, the energy industry’s trade authority said: “The regulator is highlighting an area of very real concern. On days like today around 40% of electricity is being produced by coal fired power stations that are being phased out.

“The UK is committed to moving to more renewable electricity production and to building new nuclear power stations to replace the old ones that are coming to the end of their life.

“It is essential that the authorities pay close attention to the transition such as assessing what capacity is needed and what headroom is required, and creating a mechanism  that allows for steady phasing out of old plant as new technology comes on stream to maximise stability and give confidence to customers and to generators.

“They then need to get on with exploring the options for UK shale gas reserves to help energy security and focus on the affordability of energy to households and the competitiveness of British industry.”

Meanwhile Juliet Davenport OBE, CEO and Founder of Good Energy, said: “Alistair Buchanan’s warning shows how we risk paying the price of our past failure to invest in renewables technology to protect our homes, our businesses and our economy from increasing uncertainty around energy supplies.

“We’ve got all the renewable energy resources we need right here in the UK to do that. We simply shouldn’t be in the business of having to import more and more gas to keep our lights on and our homes warm.”

Learn more… 

Energy Bill – The government lays out its plan for energy in the UK.

  • bill

    Perhaps the fat cats with their £3 million pound income should consider this and look after their consumers instead of their own pockets.and the government are not helping us at all.will try making my own tesla coil soon.

  • Lh86

    How much more are hard pressed families going to be able to take! Water bill rises, council tax, home and car insurance and gas and electricity, food, childcare and salaries remain the same!

  • Fuel user for now

    I cannot beleive the fuel regulator has announced this. Surely his job is to keep prices down not give cart blanch sanction for increases. I wonder which fuel compsnies he is a Director of?

  • let’s start making solar panels ourselves – even solar panel companies are ripping customers off – making them ourselves and installed by an electrician would be much cheaper option – being done world-wide – why not in the UK ???
    in BAREFOOT COLLEGE in India, women make these solar panels !!!

  • solawise

    This is another example of years of soft tackles from government on energy suppliers to invest in their own infrastructure to guarantee they can supply electricity. If ministers push too hard when in office they risk losing the position on the board of B.G ,Eon etc .
    Its extremely poor show to have let get to this stage after decades of posting huge year on year profits. fuel user for now has hit the nail on the head. it stinks

  • billyboy

    Why must we shut down the coal fired stations before their replacements are ready? China and India are building coal fired stations as fast as they can, our emissions are nothing by comparison. we have to follow the green path even if our lights will go out.

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  • Brian Packwood

    Become an MP!!
    It appears to be the assured way to get a pay-rise and a gold plated pension!!

  • Dr Hector Perera

    May I know why these so called energy experts come and see my kind of scientific energy saving cooking? Anybody got to eat so they need to cook. Here I am showing them how to cook and save about 60% gas that is wasted in cooking. Just wearing a few jackets to keep and having a hot cup of tea or coffee would not solve the problem. One needs to eat something like pasta, spaghetti, rice, boiled potatoes, carrots then some even eat chicken curries and vegetable curries, am I correct? Let me show how to cook these kinds of food and save about 60% wasting gas. I have done a demonstration of this type of cooking to ITN TV in Sri Lanka in May 2013 then to a crowd of about 50 people in South of Colombo. Why not the TVs in England give me a chance to show this kind of energy saving cooking to the public? If the energy experts wish to know my kind of energy saving why not come on I am not a cook but I apply the knowledge of science to energy saving.