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How much have gas prices changed?

We all need to keep warm and cook our food, which for many of us in the UK relies heavily on our gas connection. However, a large majority of the UK population are finding it harder and harder to pay for their gas bills. As gas prices rise many people are becoming scared to turn on their heating and other household necessities in fear of the dreaded bills at the end of the month. The question we’re looking at today, however, is just how much have our gas bills gone up over the years?

While the prices continue to rise, we continue to hear reasonings such as rises in wholesale gas prices and upgrading the distribution and transmission networks as the bid to convert our systems to include some renewable gases increases. However, as this happens, the majority of UK citizens are not seeing any change to their wages, meaning purchase power per capita is drastically dropping. The average gas bill in the UK can now represent anything between 3-10% of the average person’s wages.

2006-2016 gas prices

To compare the change in gas prices over time, we need to use the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is a universal system that measures an average price across a wide variety of everyday items in a chosen geography such as petrol, food, clothing and gas. For this example we have selected 2010 as our base figure that will be represented as 100. We have also added in an extra column to display the amount of percentage change between each year.

Gas price change by CPI
Year CPI Price change
2006 72.6 -
2007 78.2 +7.7%
2008 93.4 +19.44%
2009 105.9 +13.38%
2010 100 -5.57%
2011 110.9 +10.9%
2012 122.6 +10.55%
2013 131.9 +7.9%
2014 138.1 +4.7%
2015 131.9 -4.49%
2016 124.1 -5.91%

Above we can see that there has been quite a large price increase between 2006-2016, a percentage change of 71%. Between the years 2007-2008 saw the largest change of 19.44%, putting the average gas bill up around £70 a year in the space of a year. That said, however, between 2014-2016 there has been a decrease of 11.28%, which is promising from a consumers perspective. Taking the above information we can see just how much more we are spending in real terms by estimating the average prices based on a current tariff today. This is shown in the graph below:

This graph uses a current EDF Energy tariff as its base and an average usage of 12,500 kWh per year. Here we can see that the average gas tariff in 2006 was almost £200 cheaper per year than what we are paying today.