U.K. Energy Price Cap to Rise 80%, Regulator Says – The New York Times

by | Aug 26, 2022 | Energy

Energy prices paid by most British households are set to rise 80 percent this fall, putting further pressure on consumers squeezed by higher prices and posing a daunting challenge for the next prime minister.A big jump in energy bills had been forecast for weeks, but the specific numbers released Friday morning by Britain’s energy regulator — a typical British household would pay 3,549 pounds (about $4,200) over a year for electricity and natural gas, from the current £1,971 — hit like a thunderclap in a country already reeling from double-digit inflation.It is the latest economic blow to European consumers and businesses as the war in Ukraine stretches already tight markets for energy.“This will be devastating for many families,” Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of the regulatory agency, Ofgem, told the BBC. Looking into early next year, he said, “the difficult news I have to give today is that prices look like they are continuing to rise.”The increase in the so-called energy cap, which takes effect in October and covers about 24 million households, follows a 54 percent rise in April.The news of the price increases came during a moment of deep political drift in Britain, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson preparing to leave office and his Conservative Party preoccupied by a contest to replace him. Mr. Johnson has left it for his successor to craft a response to the skyrocketing energy costs.The front-runner to replace Mr. Johnson, Liz Truss, has promised targeted aid to help those hardest hit by higher bills, though she has steadfastly refused to detail her plans. She and her opponent, Rishi Sunak, both reject more sweeping measures, like using state subsidies to freeze the energy price cap for two years.Ms. Truss, writing in The Daily Mail on Friday, said, “I know how hard it is for millions of Britons, and how grave c …

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