Did energy cost you more in 2021?

  • 7 January 2022
  • 6 replies
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My query is prompted by an article I read yesterday wherein it is said the ONS maintains that last year peoples’ energy costs were a lot more. I can’t find the article now but I think they were saying electricity had gone up by 12% for the year and gas 18%. Something like that. It caused me to check whether my costs for 2021 were higher than 2020.  Yes and no. My electricity was up by 2.45% but the cost of gas in 2021 was down by 25.23% compared to 2020.

I wonder what others here have experienced? The ONS figures just seemed way out.

My figures are the raw figures not including VAT (although some do for the last three months of 2021) nor the standing charge.

I must try to find that article.

In the meantime I note that the rise in my and my wife’s OAP coming in April will cover some of the increases ahead for 2022. On a full year about £340 of it.


6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

What does “energy costs” mean, does it mean the amount you actually spent during the year (in which case it has many variables which are external to the cost of energy and only related by virtue of supply and demand  (e.g. weather and covid)  or does it mean that for the same fixed amount of xMWh and xMthm the aggregate consumer cost was much higher?

In the case of the 26 companies that went bust the last quarter (or fifth) of the year cost significantly more for millions who lost their fixed price deal.

Or is it just a simple case of asking consumers was their monthly payment higher than the year before?

Without knowledge of the methodology it’s hard to judge whether you think the results seem viable.

Looked at with a finger in the air which way is the wind blowing  I think the vast majority of consumers will have  paid more in 2021 because external energy costs were much higher. See chart below

5 year Natural gas cost

 

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The ONS were reporting on what consumers were paying compared to the previous year. I cannot be alone in finding I paid less. Even if I discount the affect of extra loft insulation and a new boiler it would not account for this differential. What I pay/paid PP for gas was locked in in July 2020 for a year. Of course if ONS’s figures are correct it shows how few shop around. But then we knew that.

Perhaps PP can indicate their view of customers’ average price and changes. Better from the horse’s mouth than government speculation.

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I think what will make my figures more meaningful is not to simply compare final cost one year with the previous but to compare the actual cost per kWh.

In 2020 I paid an average 2.99p for gas per kWh and 14.53p for electricity.

In 2021 I paid an average 2.79p for gas per kWh and 15.98p for electricity.

In 2022 I am paying Shell (for the present) 3.954p for gas per kWh and 20.207p for electricity.

The figures include VAT but exclude the standing charge.

In 2020 I locked into a one year fixed term in the July. This expired in July 2021 when I locked in again for 2 years. That ended 16th October 2021 since when I have paid Shell’s rates.

I accept I had the advantage of locking into a fix when prices were lower but it still makes the ONS figures for what they call average increases in 2021 look higher.. The ONS for my area has the average unit cost for gas at 4.03. This includes VAT and standing charge costs. My average is 2.79. If I add in the standing charge for a better comparison my average becomes 3.78.

The ONS worked on average consumption for gas of 13600 kWhs for 2021. Mine was 13793.93. The ONS data can be found on the site below. It also shows data for past years.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1043387/table_233.xlsx

I have not compared the ONS data with respect to electricity but it can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/ 1044579/table_225.xlsx

I think what the figures are showing is possibly that a lot of people don’t shop around and consequently are paying more than those who do, thus putting up the ONS average. I stand to be corrected of course.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Adding in the standing charge to the calculation skews the result. If you use a lot of energy the standing charge becomes a lower proportion of the total cost, so it would affect the average cost per kWh

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Adding in the standing charge to the calculation skews the result. If you use a lot of energy the standing charge becomes a lower proportion of the total cost, so it would affect the average cost per kWh

did you mean

Adding in the standing charge to the calculation skews the result. If you use a lot of energy the standing charge becomes a lower proportion of the total cost, so it would not affect the average cost per kWh as much as it would a light(er) user.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Adding in the standing charge to the calculation skews the result. If you use a lot of energy the standing charge becomes a lower proportion of the total cost, so it would affect the average cost per kWh

did you mean

Adding in the standing charge to the calculation skews the result. If you use a lot of energy the standing charge becomes a lower proportion of the total cost, so it would not affect the average cost per kWh as much as it would a light(er) user.

Something like that, 

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