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Natural gas: SSE Airtricity to increase prices by 21.8%

Natural gas: SSE Airtricity to increase prices by 21.8%

A gas hobIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS

SSE Airtricity will increase its natural gas prices for households and businesses by 21.8% from October.

The company says the change will add £112 on to the typical average household bill.

SSE Airtricity has 178,000 customers in Northern Ireland.

Tariffs are scrutinised and approved by the utility regulator, who had previously warned that gas price increases were to be expected this winter.

SSE says it is revising its prices to reflect the sustained increases in external costs outside of its control.

These including rising costs in acquiring natural gas on global wholesale energy markets.

These costs affect all suppliers in the market as seen in similar announcements already this year.

‘The perfect storm’

The Fuel Poverty Coalition has warned unprecedented increases in energy costs could lead to the “perfect storm” this winter coming at the same time as the furlough scheme and the uplift to Universal Credit come to an end.

Chair Pat Austin said one in five families in Northern Ireland are already in fuel poverty and that the Executive needs to intervene to stop the problem from getting much worse.

“We need a crisis intervention at the moment, we need government and the suppliers to get behind this – whether that is a social tariff for low-income households or being able to top households up, that needs to happen sooner rather than later.”

‘Not taken lightly’

Andrew Greer, SSE Airtricity general manager (NI), said the decision had not been taken lightly.

“Almost 90% of a customer’s gas tariff is accounted for through transmission, distribution and commodity costs.

“Over the last year, commodity costs have risen sharply with the cost of purchasing natural gas on the wholesale market more than doubling since last summer.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Do You Remember The Oil Crisis And “Stagflation” Of The 1970s? In Many Ways, 2019 Is Starting To Look A Lot Like 1973…

Do You Remember The Oil Crisis And “Stagflation” Of The 1970s? In Many Ways, 2019 Is Starting To Look A Lot Like 1973…

The price of gasoline is rapidly rising, economic activity is slowing down, the Middle East appears to be on the brink of war, and Democrats are trying to find a way to remove a Republican president from office.  In many ways, 2019 is starting to look a lot like 1973.  For many Americans, the 1970s represent a rather depressing chapter in U.S. history that they would just like to forget, but the truth is that if we do not learn from history it is much more likely that we will repeat our mistakes.  And without a doubt, right now a lot of things are starting to move in a very ominous direction.

“Stagflation” was a term that was made popular in the 1970s, and it occurs when there is a high rate of inflation but economic growth is declining or stagnant.

The U.S. hasn’t had a serious bout with stagflation in quite a while, but it appears that we may be moving in that direction.

Let’s talk about the slowdown in the economy first.  On Monday, we learned that sales of existing homes in the U.S. were way down in March

Home sales are struggling to rebound after slumping in the second half of last year, when a jump in mortgage rates to nearly 5% discouraged many would-be buyers. Spring buying is so far running behind last year’s healthy gains: Sales were 5.4% below where they were a year earlier.

On a year over year basis, existing home sales have now fallen for 13 months in a row.

That is terrible, and there is no way to “spin” that fact to make it look good.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Crushing The “Lower Gas Price = More Spending” Fiction | Zero Hedge

Crushing The “Lower Gas Price = More Spending” Fiction | Zero Hedge.

Caveats to the equation: lower gas prices = more spending

Aside from the long-standing issues of minimal income growth and lackluster job creation, consumers have become accustomed to an end-of-the-year price reprieve at the pump, and in some cases are simply using the increased funds to offset rising utilities and health care costs. We explore the various facets of this in further detail below:

1) Consumers have become accustomed to extreme volatility in energy prices. Particularly around this time of year, consumers are increasingly familiar with energy price reprieve from summer gas prices and no longer adjust their long-term spending habits as much, or at all, based on short-term price fluctuations.

Since reaching a high of $3.69 in June, average gas prices have fallen more than fifty cents a gallon, to a monthly average of $3.17 as of October, and have continued to fall throughout the early weeks of November. While impressive, this four-month decline is hardly unusual. In 2011, retail gasoline prices fell from an average monthly high of $3.91 in May to $3.27 by year-end, a decline of nearly sixty-five cents over seven months.

Then again in 2012, after ratcheting up to $3.85 at the end of September, gasoline prices tumbled more than fifty cents a gallon in just three months, down to $3.31 before turning the corner to 2013. And finally, last year told a similar story of lower energy prices before the holidays, dropping nearly thirty-five cents by the end of the year to $3.28 a gallon.

In each case, retail spending was hardly robust with an average monthly sales pace of 0.4% over the past four years. In fact, the largest monthly increase was in September 2012, up over 1%, thanks to a hefty increase in electronics purchases corresponding to the release of the iPhone 5. This September, retail sales saw a similar boost from the release of the iPhone 6.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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