The UK energy market is almost always in the news for some reason or other – sometimes it's relatively good news, like the introduction of a price cap, but usually because prices are on the rise again. But is the UK's energy market really as bad as it's made out to be? Let's compare it with the EU energy market to find out?
Although we often hear that wholesale energy prices are falling, we rarely hear of consumer energy prices going the same way - a situation that is often used as a stick to beat the energy suppliers with.
But, if we look at international comparisons, it seems UK suppliers have been paying much higher wholesale prices than their EU-based counterparts, and so UK energy prices are around 70% higher than the continental average. So why are we being charged more for wholesale energy? One reason is becasue there is a limited level of electricity interconnection between the UK and the European market, which makes it more difficult to import electricity from cheaper providers.
Even so, the UK has one of the lowest rates of elecricity disruption and the fewest minutes of service downtime in Europe, meaning UK consumers are more satisfied with their energy provision than their EU peers - overall, it seems the Big Six are performing relatively well, in spite of the higher prices.
But what about the commercial energy market, which often comes in for criticism, largely because getting a new deal on gas and electricity can be particularly confusing, and causing frustration among business owners.
But the only way to truly tell how good or bad Britain’s energy market really is, is to compare it to others. So, how does the UK commercial energy market stack up against that of other European countries? The infographic below has some answers:
So, despite the fact that the UK energy market gets more than its fair share of negative press, it may not actually be as bad as it’s made out to be. There is certainly room for improvement in some areas – consumption of renewable energies, for instance – but in others, the UK holds its own against the rest of Europe.
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