British Gas is now the most expensive fuel in the world as the North Sea gas fields give out. Why are we in this mess you might ask?
Firstly, we have a storage problem. Unlike the rest of Europe which averages a sixty day supply in reserve, the UK has reportedly only thirteen days because we never built enough gas reservoirs. Why? Because until quite recently we had the luxury of being able to turn the tap on to rather more gas fields than we have today, on demand and at relatively short notice. As these have run out, more quickly it appears than anticipated, we’ve been caught with our proverbial pants down, with government and the gas companies failing to properly plan against the risk of a sudden and severe winter, lasting longer than well, thirteen days.
What does this mean? In the future, energy bills will continue to climb and families will start to notice the bite. I have already. Worse still, North Sea oil is on the way out between 2008 and 2013 and this has provided us with an enormous “cushion” to the economy, hiding some of our more serious problems behind our oil revenues. Dwindling oil money will lead to much higher taxation and an end to generous public spending and so the Prime Minister best buy his reportedly planned (Royal) Air Force One now while we can afford it and the fuel to go with it.
I predict that by the end of the decade we’ll see many more elderly people retiring to Spain and other warm climates, simply to avoid crippling energy bills.