When Russia invaded Ukraine the effect on gas was one of the most worrying.
Now, prices are sky high, with energy bills about to soar for everyone in the UK.
Oil and gas are Russia’s key exports, and Western sanctions in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine are having a significant effect.
But how much do we depend on Russia oil? Here’s everything you need to know.
How much gas does the UK get from Russia?
Russia is Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas, providing around 35 per cent of the gas used across the continent.
The UK’s reliance on Russian gas is far less significant, at just 3 per cent.
About half of the UK’s gas comes from the North Sea, and a third is sourced from Norway.
The rest is made up of imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transported to the UK by sea from countries such as Qatar and the US. The Russian gas that the UK receives also comes in LNG form.
These LNG supplies are very sensitive to global market prices and are sold to those offering the highest price.
Then why is it affecting British energy costs?
The UK market is closely connected to markets in mainland Europe, meaning a price rise on the continent often leads to higher prices here too.
The energy price cap was launched in January 2019 by Ofgem as a way of keeping down the cost for households across the UK.
It is currently reviewed twice a year to reflect the costs to suppliers of supplying electricity and gas. Changes come into effect every April and October.
Ofgem said updating the price cap quarterly would go “some way to provide the stability needed in the energy market”.
The regulator added: “It is not in anyone’s interests for more suppliers to fail and exit the market.”
It said Russia’s actions in Ukraine had led to last winter’s volatility in the global energy market lasting “much longer, with much higher prices for both gas and electricity than ever before”.
As expected, Ofgem warned that as a result of the market conditions, the price cap would have to increase later this month to reflect increased costs.
However, it also said that with the quarterly price cap, the changes would mean that any fall in wholesale prices would be passed on to customers more quickly .
Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley said: “I know this situation is deeply worrying for many people.
“As a result of Russia’s actions, the volatility in the energy markets we experienced last winter has lasted much longer, with much higher prices than ever before. And that means the cost of supplying electricity and gas to homes has increased considerably.
“The trade-offs we need to make on behalf of consumers are extremely difficult and there are simply no easy answers right now.
“Today’s changes ensure the price cap does its job, making sure customers are only paying the real cost of their energy, but also, that it can adapt to the current volatile market.
“We will keep working closely with the Government, consumer groups and with energy companies on what further support can be provided to help with these higher prices.”
The plan has been criticised, with experts saying it will only lead to customers having their bills increased more regularly.
What are bills expected to go up to?
Energy bills are expected to soar to £3,420 in October and could reach £3,850 next year.
The figures, released by utilities consultant BFY, would represent a 74 per cent increase to the energy price cap.
The price cap was set at £1,227 before April 2022. A jump to £3,420 would mean households could see energy bills almost triple in the space of six months.
A separate set of forecasts released by energy analysts Cornwall Insight predicts bills will rise to £3,359 in October and then £3,616 in January.
Mr Brearley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I would say that it’s very clear that we expect significant increases again in prices, even over and above the estimate that we made in May. And that just shows you how dramatically the market is changing.”
Asked about proposals to help customers, such as cutting VAT and green levies, he replied: “There is an almost £40 billion package of measures that are already in place to pay as discounts on our bills, but I think everyone recognises that the market has fundamentally changed since that package was announced, which was only two months ago, so every politician will be thinking about how they can mitigate that.”
He added: “I think we all recognise that more will need to be done.”
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