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Falling UK energy bills grab UK election spotlight

By AFP

May 25, 2024 10:15 PM


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The UK's energy sector regulator on Friday announced a drop in the price cap for bills from July, catapulting a key cost-of-living issue into the second day of general election campaigning.

The cap on energy bills for most UK households will drop by seven percent on the back of sliding wholesale costs, regulator Ofgem revealed.

The annual amount suppliers are allowed to charge an average household consuming electricity and gas in England, Scotland and Wales will decline to £1,568 ($1,990) from £1,690 from the start of July. It had also been lowered in April.

The announcement comes two days after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired the starting gun on a July 4 general election -- but his governing Conservatives are still far behind the main opposition Labour party in opinion polls.

Tory ministers immediately seized on the news to argue it was further evidence that Sunak's plans to return the UK's economy to growth and ease several years of cost-of-living pressures of people were working.

"This is the second biggest big cut that we've seen," energy minister Claire Coutinho told Sky News, describing it as "really welcome news".

"Our gas prices are now lower on average than other European countries... I want to see (bills) continue to be lower for people."

The new price cap will be about £500 less than in July 2023 but remains more than £400 higher than in 2021.

Ofgem added Friday that bills will fall further on lower wholesale energy costs, which had spiked following key producer Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


AFP


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