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Montevideo, October 6th 2022 - 17:20 UTC

 

 

UK energy prices: record number of people stole electricity last year; another hefty rise in October

Tuesday, August 9th 2022 - 07:59 UTC
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 The annual average UK gas and electricity bill rose from £1,400 in October 2021 to £2,000, after the government removed a price cap The annual average UK gas and electricity bill rose from £1,400 in October 2021 to £2,000, after the government removed a price cap

The energy situation is hitting UK consumers and figures released by the Home Office show that a record number of people stole electricity in England and Wales last year.

This despite a government spokesman saying it was providing £37 billion to help households with the cost of living.

Police forces received 3,600 reports of “dishonest use of electricity” in the 12 months to March 2022, a 13% increase on the previous year and the highest level since records began in 2013.

The situation comes after a protest website launched recently urging people not to pay their electricity bills from October. In effect the annual average UK gas and electricity bill rose from £1,400 in October 2021 to £2,000, after the government removed a price cap, which limited how much suppliers could charge customers.

Another hefty rise is expected this coming October. It was originally predicted average energy bills could reach £2,800 in the autumn but the latest forecast is £3,358.

Last month former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is battling Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to become the new leader of the Conservative Party, promised to scrap VAT on domestic fuel bills next year if he becomes prime minister.

He said: “With the price cap expected to rise above £3,000 in October, I will move immediately to scrap VAT on everyone’s domestic energy bills for the next year, saving the average household £160.”

Truss has not spelled out any concrete measures on the cost of living crisis but said this week: “As Prime Minister, I’d use an emergency Budget to kick-start my plan to get our economy growing and offer immediate help to people struggling with their bills.”

Peter Smith, the director of policy and advocacy at the National Energy Action campaign group, said: “This is not only illegal but dangerous too, and it’s horrifying if the crisis is forcing households to try this to keep the lights on. And this is happening now, before winter and the cold weather hits.”

Almost a third—1,100—of the thefts occurred between January and March, double the number recorded over the previous two winters.

Smith said: “More support is desperately needed to close this gap and help the most vulnerable keep themselves warm and safe this winter.”

Electricity theft is usually carried out by tampering with the supply or bypassing a meter, and it is extremely hazardous.

The maximum punishment in law is five years in prison but in 57% of cases last year no suspect was identified and only 7% resulted in someone being charged or summonsed.

A government spokesman said it was providing £37 billion to help households with the cost of living.

However Gemma Berwick, Senior Consultant at BFY Group anticipated in an interview with The Telegraph that “huge swathes of the British public aren't going to be able to afford their bills this winter. Average families with two working parents will fall into fuel poverty.”

Police received 3,600 reports of “dishonest use of electricity” 12 months to March 2022, a 13% jump on the previous year, highest level since records began in 2013.-

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  • imoyaro

    Say, doesn't that happen a lot in Buenos Aires Barrios?

    Aug 11th, 2022 - 03:01 am 0
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