UK energy bills 'rising higher than EU'

Concerns have been raised that gas and electricity bills in the UK are rising twice as fast as the European Union (EU) average.

Figures compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development suggest that in this country, utility bills increased by 29.7 per cent in the last 12 months.

However, in the EU as a whole, average prices for energy rose just 15 per cent across the same time period.

Homeowners in Germany saw gas and electricity costs rise by 12.2 per cent while in France bills were up 14 per cent over the last 12 months.

A spokesman for the Energy Retail Association said, however, that the figures did not show that the UK has "enjoyed historically very low prices compared to Europe and indeed the rest of the world".

"Primarily, this is due to us having our own vast reserves of natural gas in the North Sea and not being exposed to global prices in the same way as we are now," he said.

"We are no longer an energy island. With increased demand from growing economies such as India and China, the prices we now pay for our energy are more vulnerable to fluctuations across the world."

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