Beer would cost £25 a pint if it rose by the same rate as gas
| Last updated
The head of one of the UK’s energy companies has compared soaring bills to 'paying £25 for a pint' if beer prices had soared at the same rate as gas.
Greg Jackson, founder and chief executive of Octopus Energy, made the astonishing comparison as he urged for government intervention ahead of more bankruptcy-inducing price cap rises.
Britons' household bills are set to hit an all-time high this autumn when the energy price cap will reach almost £3,600 in October.
The predicted energy price cap this autumn is an 82 percent increase on the current cap of £1,971 – which was already 52 percent up on the cap of October 2021 and is expected to rise again next year.
When the new price rises come, it could push 8.5 million households into fuel poverty by Christmas. In other words, one in three UK households could be unable to heat their homes.
However, there could be worse to come with the latest market research predicting that average annual energy bills could top £6,000 by next April.
The warnings have piled pressure on Tory leadership rivals Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to pledge to do more to tackle the cost of living.
Jackson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday (22 August): "I think the spate of failures within the 29 companies that went bust last year – that was driven by gas prices roughly doubling.
"They’re currently nine to 11 times higher than usual. Look, to put that in perspective, if this was beer, we’re talking about the wholesale price being £25 a pint.
"People don’t know what a ‘therm’ is, but, underneath it, the ‘price per therm’ has gone from 60p to around £5 at the moment and that’s what’s passing through to customers if we don’t do something.
"There are systemic issues. There are loads of questions of how we pay for this. One thing we can’t do is be expected to pass those costs on to consumers."
Interestingly, Jackson's comments about beer weren't too far off the mark as pints are predicted to approach £9 in 2023, with industry experts warning that pints could reach £14 each in the next three years.
Theft of electricity is classed as tampering with a line or bypassing a meter. It's a worrying trend as doing so can be highly dangerous and cause serious injuries, and the act comes with a potential prison sentence of five years for those caught.
The National Energy Action (NEA) campaign group has spoken out and said it was 'horrifying' that more people could be turning to this illegal practice as the energy prices crisis continues.
The latest figures from the Home Office show police forces across England and Wales received 3,600 reports of 'dishonest use of electricity' in the year to March, which is up 13 percent on 2020-21. This is also the biggest hike since records began in 2012.
Of these thefts, 1,100 are thought to have occurred between January and March when the weather is typically colder and the temperature drops.
If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find more information about where to get help from Turn2Us via their website.