The British energy regulator will hand out bonuses to people with low energy consumption, luring them into a de facto electrical rationing scheme that may serve as the next paving stone in acceptance of a social credit-style system where good behavior is financially rewarded.
Administrators have solicited national energy regulator Ofgem for permission to introduce the plan that envisages compensating households up to £6 (nearly $7 USD) for every kilowatt hour of electricity they refrain from consuming during soon-to-be-determined peak hours, starting in October.
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A National Grid spokesman said, “We are developing a new service that will be available for consumers to benefit from across this winter and will be announcing further information soon,” Express reported.
Another source cited by the outlet added, “It is definitely not about people sitting in the dark or volunteering to be cold. It is about doing the washing at a different time of day, that sort of stuff.”
Prices are expected to rise even further in coming months due to looming energy shortages as a result of the UK’s voluntary severing from cheap and richly abundant Russian gas in a bid to “punish” Russia for its military operation in Ukraine.
A ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’
Ofgem has announced stiff price hikes, levering the average gas and electricity bill to £3,549 a year, an increase of 80 percent of the current figure of £1,971 for the average dual-fuel tariff starting in October.
The government pictured a “reasonable worst-case scenario” that the Brits could face in case of an electricity capacity shortage, Bloomberg reported. Officials figured such a downfall could amount to about a sixth of peak demand, despite the possibility of the country’s emergency coal plants being opened up again.
However, this scenario is “not something we expect to happen,” the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a statement, sowing fear and reassurance at the same time.
“Households, businesses, and industry can be confident they will get the electricity and gas they need,” the Department said, according to Bloomberg.
The price cap is expected to be raised next in January of 2023 to an estimated £5,387, and again to £6,616 for the April cap, according to energy consultancy firm Cornwall Insight on Friday, The Guardian reported.
But household budgets are getting tight in the UK, and there are no signs of relief in the near future. On the contrary: inflation is soaring and breached 10 percent, while economists expect it to rise to 18 percent by January.
Meanwhile, infuriated Scots have taken to the streets and burned their energy bills to protest the impending 80 percent price hike to annual power costs.
Demonstrators gathered outside Glasgow energy regulator headquarters singing: “The bills are on fire!”