One Forgotten Cost Of Living

The news media here has been featuring the rising costs of everything since Russia invaded Ukraine six months ago. Prices of Gas and Electricity have risen sharply, in most cases by well over 100% on the previous year. They are set to rise again this week, followed by more rises in late October, and again in January 2023.

Trying to appear compassionate (that’s a laugh) the Conservative government announced a series of payments to every user to help pay for the increases. They began with a £150 per household rebate on Council Tax, and will soon be adding an additional £300, more for the unemployed and others living on benefits. They are also increasing the Pensioners’ Winter Fuel Allowance, a one-off annual payment that I qualify for because of my age.

I am not fooled by this apparent ‘generosity’ of the current government. They are trying to limit the damage of Boris Johnson’s shameful legacy, and they are well-aware there is a General Election in 2024. We also know that members of parliament’s own fuel bills can be paid for by the taxpayers, if claimed on expenses. (And most make those claims.)

Also, perhaps shamed by its obscene profits, the major gas supply company British Gas is donating 10% of those profits to be shared out to its customers.

But one cost of living increase that almost never gets a mention is Heating Oil. (Kerosene) In rural areas and small villages all over Britain, there is no Mains Gas supply. This leaves those of us living in those areas with three options.

Propane Gas.
All-Electric
Heating Oil.

Like many surrounding villages, most houses in Beetley rely on heating oil, stored in large tanks on the property. This fuel heats our water and runs the central heating. The price fluctuates on the world market, and like all other energy sources, it is currently increasing. Before Russia attacked Ukraine, I could buy 500 litres of oil for a reasonable £230. I have just ordered some to be delivered today, and the cost will be £480. That’s a huge price increase in a six-month period.

However, despite the fact that over 1,500,000 homes rely on heating oil in the UK, it has not been mentioned in any rebate scheme.

Another industry cashing in on the excuse of the war in Ukraine, and more profts for the friends of government ministers.

45 thoughts on “One Forgotten Cost Of Living

    1. We are already cutting back on some things in advance of the huge increase coming on our electricity bill. (At least doubling, maybe even more) That extra money will be needed after October. Unfortunately, my recent pension increases were small, and swallowed up by the inflation rate, which is currently 10.1% here.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The Ukraine war is an excuse for the big businesses to increase prices and claw back profits lost during the pandemic. If it truly was rising prices then the profits would be reduced, however they’re not. The profits have increased dramatically and the dividends and bonuses larger than ever before. This isn’t the government helping people, it’s them allowing these big corporations to continue making huge profits. The energy prices in Europe have risen by 4-12 % (nationalised) whilst ours has risen by 80% and due to rise again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are already suggesting things like, ‘Turn down the heating thermostat and use a blanket or duvet to cover yourself while watching TV’. ‘Go to bed earlier’. ‘Heat one room and all stay in it’. They are also threatening ‘targeted power cuts’ after January 2023. You can bet there will be no power cuts for members of the government.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve wondered all along how Ukraine can wreck the world economy. Wheat, okay for some places. Hard to believe all the bread on the planet comes from there. Over here it was excuse to go back in business with OPEC after our idiot leadership drastically curbed domestic production. We were doing fine on our own without Ukraine or OPEC. Now petroleum is double over a plac3 that doesn’t matter? Who’s lining whose pockets

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So much money changing hands behind the scenes, Phil. Billions of dollars, euros, and pounds being pumped into Ukraine that is completely unaccountable and untraceable. Hopefully the truth will come out in the future, but I doubt I will be around to see it.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  3. Years ago we had a home which was heated by oil. I remember each year we were enticed by a contract which would lock in the cost of the oil for an entire year. I don’t know if they still do the same thing here in the states with everything going up and up, but back then there was even volatility in the marketplace so we did have a contract for service to at least be able to budget the expense. All our utility costs are headed skyward.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Things are seriously out of balance Pete. It is so, so wrong. Someone like you who spent so many years caring for people should not have to be counting pennies in retirement. No one else should, but nurses and ambulance drivers, policemen and such in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want everyone to be treated fairly, Carolyn. Now they are planning to ‘Means Test’ pensioners next year, to see if we can afford to pay for prescription medicines. This from people getting subsidised food and drink in Parliament, a salary of £90,000 a year, and expenses of up to (and over) £200,000 a year. To me, they are the scum of the earth. I have nothing but complete hatred for them. They urged us to turn out to clap for the NHS during the pandemic, then refused the NHS workers a 7% pay rise before awarding themselves a £2,000 a year increase in salary.
      If it was up to me, I would hang every single Tory MP from lamp-posts in Westminster.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When I bought my house, it ran on heating oil. I installed an Airsource heat pump for water and heating and went all electric. It’s still punishing but at least I don’t have to pay in one lump sum for a delivery like my neighbours do. The cost of their most recent fill up was staggering.

    It seems living rurally is only going to get more punishing, what with fuel prices and having to drive long distances even for basic amenities….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, driving is also essential here, Harmony. We have to travel around 4+ miles to the nearest town for shopping, and there are only a couple of buses a day. Plus my wife works part-time in the next village north, and without a car, she would have to walk along a fast main road with no pavements. (Not that she would consider doing that of course.)
      I do put money by for the heating oil, and so far I always have enough. But I only ever buy 500 litres at a time, as to fill the tank completely would cost around £1,350. At least we have the wood burner, so can turn the thermostat down and use that to heat the bungalow if it gets very cold.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The £150 was supposed to be given via a deduction in your Council Tax, deducted at source by the local authority or as a lump sum. We received ours in early July as a £150 lump sum paid into the same account we use to pay the CT. You should contact your council and ask where yours is, Stevie.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It is certainly unsustainable for larger families, Beth. People around here who are both working are starting to worry about being able to pay winter fuel bills. Julie and I are lucky that there are only the two of us, and we have the backup of a wood-burner if the winter is severe.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It would not help to change our home system to Propane, unfortunately. That would incur massive expense by having to change the tank and boiler. I wil have to wait for the revolution, or my eventual death. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. We can burn coal and wood, but we only have a stove in our living room and that will not provide hot water. However, in a hard winter, it will warm up the house. Seasoned wood and coal are not that much cheaper to buy, as so few people use it for heat now, but it makes a good addition when the weather is well below zero.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. It has actually been more expensive in the past. When we moved here in 2012, our first order cost over £400. (So relatively more expensive than today’s delivery) There was no war to blame then of course.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. There was a piece on our local news about someone who couldn’t afford to pay for a delivery. No direct debit or installments, you have to pay the whole amount at once. We budget for that, but I suppose a lot of people are finding it difficult. 600 litres cost me £536 yesterday…. but what’s the alternative? And our electricity standing charge doubled in April.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a direct debit that gives me 28 days (free) credit on heating oil. They won’t take the payment until the end of September. I make sure there is more than enough to cover the cost before I place the order.
      We have been on a fixed-term contract with EDF for electricity, but when the price cap was increased, it went up from £53 a month to £66. They have advised me to expect ‘substantial’ increases when our fixed term expires in January, with no offer of another fixed term.
      One of the dog-walkers saw her monthy electricity charge rise from just uner £100 to almost £300 during this year. (She has two teenagers living at home, and her husband) She works part-time in a supermarket for about £400 a month salary, and fears her entire salary will soon go on electricity alone.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. its mad how they justify the price rise in oil, given the price of oil is now the same as before the Russian invasion.
    It makes you wonder how things would be if Thatcher hadn’t sold everything off in the 80s and we could now to to our nationalised industries?

    Liked by 2 people

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