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Kingston to take hit as energy prices set to soar

By Georgia McJannett-Smith Feb 12, 2022
gas rings burningEnergy costs are rising in the UK causing financial strain on students. Credit: Xinhua/Shutterstock

Kingston upon Thames is set to be one of the boroughs worst affected by the rise in the energy bills when the price cap increases, hitting households on standard tariffs.

On average energy bills will rise by £693 annually but in the majority of London boroughs the rise will be more than that, with Kingston facing a £917 increase, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and Ofgem.

The price cap increase of 54 per cent reflects the global rise in gas prices and comes into effect in April. It follows a 12 per cent rise last October – a month after university commenced and students returned to Kingston.

Student households will bear the brunt of the increase as they are currently being overlooked in the government support scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to help the financially vulnerable.

“The cost of bills is getting out of hand and as a student relying on my maintenance loan, it is becoming increasingly difficult to budget for them. I did not factor this in when making the decision to move to London for university. The cost of living is only getting higher.”

KU photography student, Poppy Fox

People in council tax bands A to D will be granted a £150 discount in April to contribute toward the rising costs, which may benefit students if they live with somebody that is not undertaking higher education. 

“It is hard enough being a graduate in the current climate and the rising costs are further putting a strain on my already unstable finances that come with being an agency worker.”

KU psychology graduate, Ria Schoning

The price increases are the consequence of pressure on energy supplies, even sustainable sources such as wind energy. 

Sir Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton, told Radio Jackie News: “We all knew this was going to happen and I am deeply worried. There are millions of people out there who are already struggling with their high energy bills. These increases were totally predictable and I’m afraid, with all the tax rises that the conservatives are pushing through, it will make life difficult for many people.” 

He went on to say that the government should impose a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, ensuring that some of their profit could be allocated to individuals struggling with paying their energy bills. 

The rise however is contingent on how much energy is consumed by each household.

Students facing financial difficulties can contact the Student Life Advisors to seek advice and support or call 020 8417 7312.

By Georgia McJannett-Smith

Website Editor Interests: Heavy music, coffee and writing

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