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FOCUS: No current plans for gas price rises...but future depends on market

FOCUS: No current plans for gas price rises...but future depends on market

Tuesday 16 August 2022

FOCUS: No current plans for gas price rises...but future depends on market

Tuesday 16 August 2022

There are no plans to increase gas prices in Jersey - but the situation depends on market conditions and the price of LPG, the island’s provider has said.

Island Energy – the new name for Jersey Gas – said that islanders were protected from the current volatility of the natural gas market because the company imported liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, rather than natural gas, which has been particularly hit by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It added that it had not raised prices since the 13.2% increase in Jersey that came in last October.

Alex Herschel, who is Sustainability Lead for the Island Energy’s parent company as well as being Managing Director of Guernsey Energy, said: “LPG has also not seen the same increase in price in the energy markets as natural gas. 

“As such, we have been able to manage our business without increasing prices since October 2021; however, whether this continues is very much contingent on global market conditions and the wholesale price of LPG.”

She added: “While in some ways Jersey can see itself as quite separate from the rest of the world, in many others global issues do still make an impact here. 

“The energy sector is no different, and islanders will have been seeing many headlines in recent weeks about the cost of energy and the potential for issues with supply.

Alex Herschel Island Energy Guernsey.jpg 

Pictured: Islands Energy Group Sustainability Lead Alex Hershel. 

“These are critical issues for Island Energy and clearly things that we spend our time managing for the benefit of our customers.

“At the current time, the situation with LPG, the type of gas used in the Channel Islands, is less volatile than natural gas, which is typically referred to in the UK. 

“LPG is at significantly less risk of shortage of supply than natural gas, and in addition we carefully manage our procurement process so that we have multiple suppliers, further ‘de-risking’ our supply of LPG.

“The cost of living is clearly a pressing concern for many and as such we are dedicated to supporting our customers through our Priority Customer Care scheme. 

“If anyone does have any concerns or worries over their gas bills in the coming months, we’d recommend they register with this service to access all the support we are able to offer.”

This week, Express reported on why electricity bills in Jersey were not expected to rise beyond the 5% increase brought in last month and a second 5% increase scheduled for 1 January.

Looking ahead to the future of gas supplies in Jersey, Ms Herschel said: “The current volatility in the gas and energy markets reinforces our stated ambition to be an ‘energy management’ business, supporting the net zero transition in Jersey. 

Ukraine war Kiev Russia.jpg

Pictured: Global energy markets have been volatile since Russia attacked Ukraine in February.

“We’re working hard to change the way we do business and monitoring closely the developments in other sustainable technologies.

“On a small scale, for example, we are providing energy-efficient boilers, smart home solutions and energy-saving advice to help our customers reduce their energy consumption, saving them money and reducing emissions. 

“On a larger scale, and for the long term, we shall be introducing Bio LPG once it is viable for Jersey. 

“We are also exploring all other low carbon forms of energy, such as green hydrogen, once the technology is viable. 

“The timing of which is uncertain, but we are monitoring recent developments in the UK closely. 

“The challenge shall be where we get the green part of green hydrogen for Jersey. 

“Again, we do not have the answers, but shall be exploring all options.”

Green hydrogen, which emits only water when burned, is produced by electrolyzing water using renewable electricity, so is seen as a net-zero form of energy.

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