Let’s be positive: 2021 was a brilliant year to have been generating your own energy.
To recap, this time last year prices had risen from historic lows to ‘normal’ levels, then started to rise through December 2020 as we headed towards Brexit with a good deal of uncertainty remaining.
Brexit caused some big changes in the way we trade electricity with Europe, so prices carried on rising – in retrospect, gently – through January and February.
At the end of February, new EU climate targets set carbon prices climbing. About half our electricity comes from gas-fuelled generators, and if you burn a lot of gas you must buy carbon credits. With the price of carbon directly influencing the cost of generating electricity prices jumped a little and then set off on an upwards trajectory.
By summer concerns were growing over gas supply, with storage levels very low in the EU and UK, and serious competition between Europe and Asia for LNG imports. At one point, with serious concerns about energy shortages, the Chinese Government issued an instruction that as much LNG as possible should be secured at any price.
Carbon prices hit record high after record high, there was the interconnector fire, then the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline promising to increase supply from Russia being delayed.
Almost 30 energy suppliers ceased trading.
It’s no surprise that prices are higher than anyone had previously thought imaginable, we’re all feeling the effects and will continue to do so as inflationary pressures make their way through supply chains.
So there has never been a better time to be generating electricity and gas, at least to offset consumption from the grid and ideally to sell some back in. At NFU Energy we’re building new products to help people to do just that: we’ve been piloting our Renewable Energy Solutions package and are planning to increase its reach as soon as we can. Energy efficiency is firmly on the agenda, another area where we are bringing measurable benefits and savings to our customers. And we’re working on new products that will help companies to better understand and manage their energy, both consuming and generating. If these areas are of interest to you, or if you just want to make sure you’re getting the best deal you can on energy, get in touch.
For now, we’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and successful new year.