Gas customers warned bills will increase

GUERNSEY Gas is warning of higher bills locally in the wake of wholesale gas costs rising.

Jo Cox, chief executive officer of Islands Energy Group. (30008184)
Jo Cox, chief executive officer of Islands Energy Group. (30008184)

Jo Cox, chief executive officer of parent company Islands Energy Group, said the price of wholesale gas had risen considerably with many suppliers dealing with the impact. As well as operating in Guernsey, the company also supplies customers in Jersey and the Isle of Man.

‘We have seen a 90% increase in our costs through the last year and therefore are in emergency discussions to review our current pricing across the three islands we supply as a result,’ she said.

‘These discussions are likely to result in price increases in all islands. We will inform our customers as soon as possible once we have confirmed what this will be.’

Energy markets were subject to a variety of complex influences, she said, and there had been a significant number of events in recent times – such as Brexit, Covid, storms across America and unpredictable weather globally.

‘It isn’t possible to pinpoint one specific thing that has caused the cost of supplying gas to increase, but all these things have combined to affect supply chains, increasing the cost of many things that are crucial to the supply of gas.

‘We understand that news of price increases for customers can cause concern and we would like to remind our customers that they can sign up for our priority customer care service if they would like to discuss any additional support that we are able to give them. Our team can be reached on 724811.’

The news comes after the recently-appointed CEO just weeks ago said price increases were the ‘last lever’ to pull while stressing she could not 100% guarantee no rises in bills.

‘The only reason I can’t 100% guarantee it is because we’re absolutely being smashed at the moment on the cost of goods to buy in. So, we are being hit really badly by the people we buy gas from. Our gas prices that we buy in at have nearly doubled and it’s really hurting us at the moment,’ she said in a recent interview with the Guernsey Press.

In the UK, Cabinet minister Kwasi Kwarteng said there needed to be an acceptance that gas prices ‘could be high for longer than people anticipate’ as the gas crisis sparked concerns about the impact on consumers and business.

But he called fears of a three-day working week ‘alarmist’, adding: ‘There is absolutely no question of the lights going out or people being unable to heat their homes.’

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