Over the summer we have updated the ‘economic’ electricity costs used by Energy Sparks from 12p/kWh to 15p/kWh to reflect the increase in electricity costs over the last year. These prices are used to provide general advice about a school’s running costs and are indicative of average electricity costs for schools including standing charges. This increase reflects a general increase in commercial electricity costs nationally as a result of reduced gas supplies from Russian for our power stations, and maintenance issues at a number of older nuclear and gas power stations causing reduced UK supply, causing reduced UK supply, and increased costs.
The chart below shows how daily electricity prices have risen over the last 18 months:
from about 5 p/kWh to 25p/kWh. Even if you are lucky enough to be on a long term fixed contract and are currently paying less than these prices today, you are likely to find this increase will be reflected in increased bills at the end of your contract year.
For the moment we have kept ‘economic’ gas prices at 3p/kWh, but are expecting to have to increase these on Energy Spark’s in the coming months as wholesale gas prices have also started to rise. Wholesale prices have risen from about 1.4p/kWh last year to 3.4p/kWh this year – arise of 250% which is likely to feed through into school gas costs in the near future.
Overall, although increased energy prices are not good for school budgets, it does provide a bigger incentive for you to reduce your energy use through behavioural change or through investment in energy saving measures which should now have reduced payback because of the bigger cost savings.
Last year because of COVID schools ventilated their buildings more, we have seen on average between a 10% and 25% increase in gas consumption for our schools compared with the previous year. With the governments of the UK nations issuing CO2 monitors to better manage this we suspect gas consumption probably won’t increase further as the monitoring might just result better management – opening your windows less on windy days and more on calm days – which should even out across the course on next winter.