Warnings that energy prices could rise this winter
There have been warnings that energy prices could spike this winter, putting further pressure on consumers.
According to the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), if the Chinese economy strengthens quickly and there is a harsh winter, gas prices could rise.
Fatih Birol added that governments should push for energy-saving and boost renewables, but also pointed out that governments could be forced to step in and subsidise bills again.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Birol said the IEA “cannot rule out” another spike in gas prices this winter – just days after government support for UK households came to an end.
“In a scenario where the Chinese economy is very strong, buys a lot of energy from the markets, and we have a harsh winter, we may see strong upward pressure under natural gas prices, which in turn will put an extra burden on consumers,” said Mr Birol.
He added that governments should “continue to push measures to save energy, especially as we enter the winter” and said he “wouldn’t rule out blackouts” in the winter months as “part of the game”.
Last winter the National Grid had said people should be prepared for possible power cuts, but in the end they weren’t necessary.
Following the removal of government energy support, energy prices are still set to remain high despite a cut in prices, and a typical household will pay £2074 a year for gas and electricity from July.