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Royal energy bills soar over past year

New research reveals the Royal Estate’s gas use rose 14% with a 50% increase in utility bill costs

buckingham palace

An exceptionally cold winter and 60-year-old boiler are to blame for sky rocketing energy bills at the Queen’s home

Energy bills are now so high that even the Queen is feeling the pinch, new research has revealed.

According to the Royal Estate, gas use rose by 14% in just one year, as Britain faced a cold winter.

What’s more, the Queen has been living in ‘crumbling’ surroundings, with a 60-year-old boiler heating Buckingham Palace.

The Royal Estate now needs repairs equating to some £50 million, as 39% of it is below ‘target condition’, according to reports.

Palace boilers need overhauling

Overhauling the Queen’s heating system could cost £1 million alone. This is expected to happen in the next three to five years.

The Royal Estate has been notoriously bad when it comes to driving down energy bills, with a 2009 survey finding that Buckingham Palace is the worst energy-polluting building in London.

As regular UK families are urged to look into the best tariffs for them, the monarch has seen utility bills jump by an incredible 50% in just a year.

Last year the Royal Estate used around 24.4 million KWh of gas – up on the 21.0 million kWh it used the previous year.

Palace: Cold weather drove rise in energy bills

According to the Palace, this significant rise in gas usage was down to “the prolonged period of cold weather in the final quarter of 2012-13”. However, Lib Dem MP Ian Swales described this as “an enormous increase in gas consumption in just one year”.

Palace aides are now facing questions as to why the royal family has not sought to drive down energy costs itself, despite having claimed there had been a renewed emphasis on going green.

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have raised concerns over the fact that the heating systems are so old that the palace’s bills have rocketed to the extent they have.

Nick Smith, Labour MP, commented: “I was shocked that boilers hadn’t been changed in Buckingham Palace for 60 years.”

Mike Stevens, deputy treasurer to Her Majesty The Queen, commented: “We certainly saw a very significant increase in the final quarter of last year.

“But this is an area that we will wish to look at ways in which we can reduce.”

He said that the Sovereign Grant will be applied to the replacement of boilers in the main palaces, as these are “nearing the end of their useful life”.

“One of the key projects of the next 15 years will be refurbishment of Buckingham Palace,” he added.

Royal pay rise

This news comes after it was revealed the Queen is set to receive a 22% pay rise over the next two years, with the monarch to be given £37.9 million in 2014-15 to run her Household and host official engagements.

This is significantly more than the £31 million she received in 2012-13.

The pay rise follows reports from the National Audit Office that the Queen is ‘down to her last £1 million’, meaning that she is vulnerable to any unexpected costs.

The “staggering” cost of repairing the Queen’s estates could mean that the Royal Train will not be replaced in the next ten years, it has been reported. Courtiers have complained that it is too noisy, uncomfortable and expensive to be viable.

  • shaun

    ill sell the palace to a rich arab

    • Tony

      I think we have enough foreigners owning our country don’t you?

  • Sam

    Either get rid of the monarchy, or have it. I am tired of hearing people complain about how expensive or lavish their lives are… SHE IS THE QUEEN – where is she supposed to live, in a council estate?

    • ralf

      No need to ,One of her scores of palaces ,castles ,country estates,mansions or in one of the properties recently bought in a Romania BY Charly or any of the 700 houses he lets off at twice the average rent.

  • Fred

    Poor old girl.
    She must lay awake at night scared witless about how to keep warm.

  • Andrea Slee

    Solar Panels…….just pop down to Ikea…save the country a fortune…

  • Arthur

    Going back to King George III – correct me if I am wrong here – agreed that the government would be given the earnings from the Royal estates, which would be passed to the government for the right to receive money from “the royal list” which would permit the monarch to receive an annual sum from the treasury in order to run the functionality of the royal palace – hosting foreign dignitaries and functions. However, since Queen Victoria, the royal households would remain the concern of the nation for a reduction in the money given to the Royal purse. In times past certain Royal residences have been given to the government, which have been passed to the National Trust (Osbourne House, Isle of White – as an example).

    The money given to the Monarch, is not retained by her Majesty, but used to pay the expenses of those minor Royal who feature upon the Royal expenses, or public list, and the maintenance of security at the palaces – both Military & Police.

    We need to be told the truth here. The British public actually own the palaces, and the Monarch foots the bill for the expenditure – staff, basic maintenance, heating & energy, and security.

    The old Royal yacht was used FREE of charge by business men to hold sales conferences whilst she was docked in a foreign port, and it was stated that HMY Britannia used to earn £14Billion a year for the “black economy” of the country. Yet in 1997 the government decided that she was too expensive to maintain & chose to decommission her .. she was a Royal yacht first, a hospital ship second, and was essential to the armed forced because she could enter foreign territorial waters, because she was NOT an armed vessel – Yemen 1984.

    Maybe it is time that we were told the truth by the government concerning the true cost of the Monarchy, and the agreements that have led to the current agreement.

    £37 Million does not sound like a great deal, especially when you consider that the government is NOT functioning as a single entity. In fact it allows it’s ministries to function as single companies and fails to display the true scale of economy that the government can potentially display. Each individual ministry holds its own budget, and is responsible for the procurement of equipment/office stationary, where a single government authority, (the cabinet office), could ensure a reduction in costs concerning energy, stationary, and a harmonised IT infrastructure. Which is something that this government have consistently failed to achieve.

    Thank you


  • Penny

    Well if you have four or five houses to live in throughout the year, like Sandringham and Balmoral and Windsor and Buckingham Palace to name a few, it’s gonna cost quite a packet. A lot of people who have been able to obtain second homes then let them out over the summer, or winter (depending on location) for part of the year to help defray costs. Not sure what happens when you’ve got four or five to go to, but I think there’s a lesson here in property and money management somewhere for the royal estates. Perhaps some double glazing, roof insulation and shopping around for new gas and electricity suppliers might help too!

    • ralf

      They own or have access to about 70 castles ,palaces,mansions ,country estates +lodges etc .Let them try to reduce the ever widening gap between the poor and wealthy in the UK .(The worst in Europe,I believe) by handing over all but a couple of residences to tourism .and use own immense wealth ,instead of state handouts . That would be patriotic indeed .After-all ,how many see the queen when they visit UK ? Its the buildings etc ,like in France.

  • Cedric Lynch

    Why not go for heat pumps and set an example to the rest of us? Why is there so little publicity about these?

  • buckclean

    i want a republic

  • Patricia

    Heres an idea, Move all the Elderly, Disabled, Homeless and the Poor into the Royal Palaces and their body heat will provide the rest.

  • steve

    could always put on a couple of cardies and heat just one room

  • Rachel Craig

    What is Sovereign Grant? Does it mean the Queen will not be paying for the replacement of the boilers in Buckingham Palace? The Queen had a pay rise last year, also money for the Golden Jubilee. Then she is to get a pay rise over the next two years of 22% (according to article above). Whilst British subjects are attending FOOD BANKS.

    She has a job for life. She has many homes. She is well cared for, well provided for.
    Whilst people within her country are attending FOOD BANKS. Homelessness exists. People are being charged a Bedroom Tax. People are jobless. People are helpless.

    There seems an ever widening gap. Rather than a cohesive structure to the British Society.


    • jeff chang

      is that you yeahhhh

    • Alexandros of Greece.

      The Sovereign Grant is the amount given to the Institutions of the Monarchy to run all its operations( including new boilers).
      It is not the salary of The Queen or Prince Philip , but covers their expenses carrying out their duties, She is Head of State)
      Whether you have a Republic or a Monarchy, given the amount of historic palaces and Castles which are in fact owned by the state ( as Buckingham Palace is), you still have to spend for upkeep and repair.
      The rest of your rant has really nothing to do with The Queen, the Jubilee was a huge boost for UK that combined with the Olympics increased the brand UK world wide. As for a a job for life,god I would not want it .
      BTW its a cute in benefit not a tax- Google the definition of a tax. Food Banks- oh please-!!
      Jobless figures are falling , more people are in employment than ever before( these are facts). People hopeless- Really- not what I see at all. try living in Greece, for a few months and see how much you enjoy that- Greece is a Republic. Give me a Constitutional Monarchy like in many Northern European countries- than a corrupt repbulic

      • Tom

        Actually, it rather seems as though you are doing the ranting.

  • Rachel Craig

    These large buildings probably require some review as to their sustainability. As I would have thought that the Queen would have access to the best information and advice in regards to heating her home/s.

    She has weekly access to the current Prime Minister. Therefore she may well have ease of access to seek further funds.

    But the Public purse can only stretch so far, and the British people are feeling it :- FOOD BANKS etc.

    There are basic human needs to sustain life. Surely they should be prioritized.

    The wide gap between rich and poor, it has been stated causes health and social problems. Maybe our Government should be looking at narrowing the gap between rich and poor in an attempt / aim to improve health, welfare, safety, reduce crime, improve mental and emotional wellbeing etc.

  • Glenn

    It’s impossible to feel sympathy for the Queen, and to be fair, she isn’t asking for any! If she can’t afford to pay her way, then she must tighten her belt, just like everyone else!

  • Mikey

    I think everyone here is forgetting that the queen has a lifetime job; she doesn’t get to go home at the end of the day and dispense with all of the formalities that we expect the queen to have. Yes, she lives in a nice house but she has had this job since she were in her early 20s. I think we need to be more sympathetic towards the queen.

  • Dave

    I love how the picture they have used to illustrate Buckingham Palace is actually not Buckingham Palace but Lancaster House…a government building!!

  • Mo

    In view of Maam’s age Ed Davy should brief her Majesty about the Green Deal and Eco.
    Perhaps PM would forward her B&Q offers for Free BOILERS,. however PALACE COULD DO WITH COMBINED HEAT AND P[OWER PLANT .The Installer should Send the old boiler to Museum in Washington .A few Eco Pods could put new life in old pipe work.
    Free floor Insulation and Under roof Insulation, as attic is full of old furniture; discreet Wind Mill would help in Public Relations.

  • JJ

    Jeez, its that it…..just 24.4 million KWh of gas, I think I used about 300 KWh to keep my house warm. We could keep 80,000 homes warm for the price of 1 mansion!

  • chris

    Interesting use of a photograph of Lancaster House, which isn’t a royal residence.

  • Syd

    Of one thing we can be sure and that is, that unlike most others of pension age in Britain, Liz and Phil will not have to concern themselves about whether to have a mug of soup or put their one bar electric fire on for half an hour, in order to stay warm on cold days this winter. There is not much, if any chance, of these parasites dying of hypothermia or pneumonia, unlike hundreds, if not thousands of normal elderly and / or disabled pensioners in Britain.

    • budgy

      I couldn’t agree with you more I wish more people would say there piece

  • Louise Joanne Davies

    60 year old boiler? Are they blaming Princess Anne for the Royal’s rocketing energy bills then??

  • Dan Barkley

    Surprised Her Maj didn’t get on the Green Energy from the National Trust whereby the taxpayers paid for stately homes to get energy efficient. Oh, to be a posh nob.



  • It’safact!

    I’m so glad it’s not just folk like me who is getting ripped off by electric companies and struggling to pay our bills – perhaps the Queen will make a new law to stop them putting up their prices – another sample of rip off Britain -it comes to something when our Queen gets Ripped off too.


    perhaps we will get a high influence over extorsionate prices now

  • Dave

    Move the government in they will soon warm it up as there is lots of hot air coming out of them