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Gas Power Station

‘Eat or Heat’ Crisis for millions as UK energy prices soar

Following the lifting of the energy price cap, energy bills are set to rise by nearly £700 this year leaving thousands of businesses and individuals questioning how they will cover the increased cost.

The wholesale price of gas has increased worldwide over the last year for a number of reasons. Gas suppliers in the UK were limited in how much of a price rise they could pass on to customers, and many suppliers went out of business last year. A rise in the price cap has led to a record rise in energy tariffs.

Why have energy prices risen? Why do energy prices have to go up? And other questions – BBC News

Millions across the county already have to decide whether to ‘eat or heat’, a crisis which will only grow as fuel bills soar.

Where can you get help and advice about energy costs?

Middlesbrough Environment City

Middlesbrough Environment City offers free, impartial advice and support to those struggling to pay fuel bills through the Affordable Warmth team. They also offer information and awareness sessions to front line staff and community groups on affordable warmth.

Find out more Energy Advice – Middlesbrough Environment City (menvcity.org.uk)

Rural Community Energy Fund

The Rural Community Energy Fund is a £10m national programme that runs until October 2021 and supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects with community benefit.

It is being delivered by all five Energy Hubs in England on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

From heat pumps to hydropower, community energy can make a big difference to our rural communities in the North East and Yorkshire.

Rural Community Energy Fund – North East & Yorkshire Energy Hub (neyenergyhub.com)

NEA Training Services

NEA Action for Warm Homes have fully funded places available for Fuel Poverty and Health e-learning to frontline staff and volunteers from non-commercial organisations, who provide advice to those in or at risk of fuel poverty.

Find out more Fuel Poverty and Health e-learning (funded places available) (nea.org.uk)

How should the future look?

Within the outcomes of COP26, The Glasgow Climate Pact COP26-Presidency-Outcomes-The-Climate-Pact-1.pdf (neecco.org.uk) outlined the importance of mitigation and an urgency to move away not only from coal, but all fossil fuels across the energy sector. At COP26, 34 countries and 5 public finance institutions committed to end direct public support (circa. $24bn annually) for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022. The Presidency sees this as a huge leap forward which will free these funds, and many more in the private sector for deployment in renewable energy.

Across the housing sector, there needs to be a focus on retrofitting existing homes and building new homes with renewable energy solutions including ground source heating, infrared heating, hydrogen, wind and solar power.

NEECCo’s February newsletter shone the spotlight on retrofitting, with a feature on our own Housing Retrofit Planning Group and news stories from our partners and supporters. You can read it here NEECCo Newsletter – February 2022

Our article from COP26: Energy Day looks at what else is happening in the region with Northern Gas Works building Hydrogen Homes, and the creation of Dogger Bank, the worlds largest offshore wind farm set to bring renewable energy to the region.

COP26 Day 4 – Energy – NEECCo