Will you be liable to pay the full cap amount if you don’t get gas? The answer is yes. The price cap announced this morning (26 August) by the energy industry regulator Ofgem now stands at (an annual rate of) £3,459. This will cover the energy used across the period 01 October to 31 December, at which point it will (very likely) escalate further – to an amount that no-one is able to give a reliable estimate, other than ‘it will be a lot’.
Many in the area surrounding Marlborough can’t get gas. Only villages near to Marlborough, such as Manton are able to use mains gas for heating, cooking or as a primary source of energy alongside electricity.
Customers beyond the ends of the gas mains will rely on oil, logs, coal or bottled gas for heating, the cost of each of which isn’t covered by any price cap. Anyone with an annualised spend just on electricity of maybe £1,000 in 2018 or 2019 could easily reach the cap level this Autumn of nearly £3,500 (annualised) using just the same amount. And then have the massively increased cost of the heating fuels on top as well. And then in the New Year, who knows…?
Marlborough.news contacted the main retail supplier of both gas and electricity to this area – OVO (formerly SSE) and their representative confirmed this to be so. Marlborough.news has also contacted the regulator, Ofgem but no-one was available to comment.
So, a ‘non-gas’ customer could still be charged up the full cap rate for electricity. They could pay the £3,496 for just their electricity. And theoretically those customers could be subsidising those who are served by gas, who would pay no more for the combined cost of gas and electricity consumption. But the non-gas customers would have a sizeable additional cost to pay, that for all the oil, bottled gas, logs, coal or other ‘non-capped’ fuel used.
Living in a town, with a gas main running down the road, not a problem. Well, yes it is a real problem as the bills are escalating massively, but not so great as the problem faced by the many rural inhabitants who have to use (non-price-capped) alternative sources of fuel.
Devizes MP Danny Kruger is well aware of this as many of his constituents are in exactly this position. He told Marlborough.news: “I will represent to ministers the concerns of rural residents who heat their homes with uncapped energy sources and yet will be expected to pay the full capped cost of electricity. We need to support them this winter, and we need a better system in the long term”.