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The October 2021 energy price cap increase is directly linked to our dependence on fossil fuels

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Today’s confirmation by Ofgem of an enormous £139 increase in the October 2021 energy price cap isn’t just bad news for household finances.

It’s also a signal of the cost of our reliance on fossil fuels.

As we reported in our recent blog post, wholesale energy prices have doubled in the last 12 months. While there are multiple reasons for this, some of the big drivers of the price increases are linked directly to oil and gas – two of the biggest sources of carbon emissions.

The price of natural gas in particular has soared due to concerns about low stockpiles and poor access to additional reserves. 

Reducing our dependence upon natural gas is not going to be easy, but it’s never been more important. Replacing gas boilers with electric heat pumps and other forms of electric heating will allow us to switch to renewable power. Making homes and businesses more efficient will allow us to reduce energy demand. And alternative technologies like green gas and hydrogen will also play their part.

The energy grid of the future will need to make use of home-grown renewables, combined with storage and technology to level out peaks in demand, to provide reliable, low cost energy.

Of course, it’s going to take investment to get there – much of which will ultimately have to come from all of us as end consumers – whether through our bills or other types of taxation. But the sooner we make the transition, the sooner we can end our dependence on fossil fuels, and the price uncertainty – and climate catastrophe – that comes with them.

Until then, as we’ve seen with the latest October 2021 energy price cap increases, it is the poorest who will continue to suffer the most from our gas habit.