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UK regions with the highest electricity bills

·Business Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·4-min read
Gas and electricity bills
Merseyside and North Wales have seized the crown as the regions with the highest electricity bills in the UK, with households paying more than £800 on average per year. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Merseyside and North Wales have seized the crown as the regions with the highest electricity bills in the UK, with households paying more than £800 on average per year.

Costs in these two areas saw a 7.5% increase last year alone, and are nearly £50 higher than the average yearly electric bills for the whole country.

This was also £100 more than in Northern Ireland, which came in as the cheapest area at £710 a year. Households paid 7% less on average per year here than the rest of Britain.

However, Northern Ireland is also the region where electricity bills have risen the fastest since 2017, with residents of Northern Ireland seeing a 36% jump in electricity costs in four years,

According to the latest data from energy experts Boiler Central, which analysed new government data from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, North Scotland ranked second place as people forked out £795 on an annual basis, and £66 a month.

Those in North Scotland saw a hike of 7.4% in electricity prices in 2021, paying £30 more on average than the rest of the UK.

Read more: Why 2021 was annus horribilis for gas and electricity companies

The South West, South Wales and the South East also had some of the highest electricity bills in the country last year. Bills in the South West are an average of £793 a year, while residents of South Wales and the South East pay £788 and £786 respectively.

Residents in the capital typically spent £769 a year, the data showed. However, as Londoners also have the highest average yearly wages of all regions surveyed (£31,878), they devote a smaller proportion of their annual salary to electricity bills than any other UK area. This is 17% less than the rest of the country.

Boiler Central said that over the past four years, the average UK electricity bill has jumped from £593 in 2017 to £765 in 2021.

“The explosion of electricity costs across the UK is reaching a crisis point,” Myles Robinson, energy expert at Boiler Central, said. “With bills predicted to skyrocket a further £600 in the spring, it is becoming more and more impossible for families to meet these costs.”

“Energy generation across the UK isn’t equally powerful – while some regions have richer sources of fossil fuels and renewable energy, some regions struggle to generate energy as well as the rest of the UK, which leads to higher costs, and consumers having to pay a higher proportion of their wage towards energy.

Watch: Fears continue over future of energy firms as minister insists price cap must 'remain in place'

He added: “While it’s important for consumers to do what they can to reduce their energy costs at home – including checking their properties are well insulated and seeing if there are quick fixes they can enact to reduce heat loss such as bleeding radiators, switching off lights, and looking into smart thermostats which make your energy use more cost-effective – unless the UK comes up with solutions on a larger scale to reduce the cost of energy, we are likely to see rising bills for some time”.

It comes as a total of 28 UK energy suppliers collapsed into administration late last year, displacing more than 4.3 million customers, due to a rise in wholesale natural gas prices.

Read more: What to do if your energy company goes bust

In September alone, nine suppliers went bust, while the biggest hit to the energy sector came in November when Bulb, which is three times larger than any other firm that has failed so far, announced it would be put into administration.

Reasons behind the dramatic increase in power prices include low gas reserves, strong commodity and carbon prices, heightened global demand, and low wind output.

As well as soaring prices, the energy price cap has also been putting pressure on energy firms, which restricts what companies can charge consumers. This means energy is being sold for less than it is bought for.

Households in Merseyside and North Wales saw the highest electricity bills on average per year. Chart: The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,
Households in Merseyside and North Wales saw the highest electricity bills on average per year. Chart: The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,

The price cap on energy bills has risen £139 to £1,277 a year on average. Some experts have predicted it could increase from £400 by April to an excess of £1,600 per year.

Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem has set out plans that would allow it to more frequently adjust a price cap that limits electricity and gas bills for more than 15 million households.

Watch: Should I pay off debt or save money during the coronavirus pandemic?

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