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Page added on October 9, 2021

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Global Energy Crisis: Brace for Higher Gas, Electricity and Utility Bills

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I’m bringing some bad energy to your inbox.

Not sorry for the terrible pun. Definitely sorry for the bad news, though: Wherever in the world you’re reading this, you’re likely just a few weeks away from a massive energy bill, if you haven’t been slammed with one already.

What’s happening:

Oil and gas prices are soaring globally. Low supply + high demand from a recovering economy = higher prices to move and make stuff. It’ll get worse if the winter is tough.

Some numbers to make you think:

$100/barrelBank of America Corp. has talked up an outside chance of oil climbing back to this price per barrel — as soon as this winter

1,300%How much European benchmark natural gas futures have surged since May 2020

20: This number of Chinese provinces — making up more than two-thirds of the country’s GDP — that have announced some form of power cuts already

Quote that I can’t unhear: 

“If the winter is actually cold, my concern is we will not have enough gas for use for heating in parts of Europe,” Amos Hochstein, the U.S. State Department’s senior adviser for energy security, on Bloomberg Television on Sept. 20.

Why is this happening?

People want to buy things, go places and turn on the heater (or AC, depending on where you live) at a time when lots of different energy sources are facing challenges. They are not limited to the fact that:

  • It’s not windy enough. Wind speeds in the North Sea, where the U.K. generates a lot of its power, are among the slowest in 20 years. That’s meant idling turbines and soaring electricity prices in Britain.
  • Too many people love natural gas these days. Nations are more reliant than ever on natural gas to heat homes and power industries amid efforts to quit coal and increase the use of cleaner energy sources. But there isn’t enough gas to fuel the post-pandemic recovery and refill depleted stocks before the cold months.
  • OPEC+ is being OPEC+. The 23-nation coalition is, so far, only slowly adding barrels of oil back to the market after a disastrous 2020.

…and how will it all play out for you? 

Great question. You’ll probably be paying more:

  • At the gas pump. Brent closed at the highest in nearly three years a few days ago. In Britain, stations have literally had to turn away customers. (I was at a gas — or “petrol” — station last weekend and it was mayhem.)
  • For your electricity bill. Remember that lots of electricity is still made from fossil fuels. For example, 23% of EU electricity was generated from gas in 2019, just behind the 26% that came from nuclear plants.
  • To heat your home. New York natural-gas futures are on track for their steepest annual jump since 2000, when an early winter sparked massive consumption at a time when domestic energy production was stagnating. Sound familiar?
  • On things you might not have expected. Remember that lots of little things go into making the device you’re reading this on. They all have to be moved and often rely on fossil fuels to be made. If those prices go up… you know what happens.

Email a friend?

I wrote to a few financial advisers to see if they had any energy-crisis, money-saving tips beyond the obvious stuff like “buy a warmer blanket.” Here’s how they responded:

“I think that you will begin seeing people seek out more energy-efficient vehicles like hybrid and electric cars, especially since the savings rate for most Americans has increased,” said Dana Menard, the founder and CEO of Twin Cities Wealth Strategies. “All that extra cash will allow them to make larger upfront purchases versus trying to nickel and dime their way to savings.”

Darla Kashian of the Nicollet Investment Group says this fall she’ll be installing solar panels on her home. “A big reason is witnessing the recent absolute climate disasters,” she said.

Marguerita Cheng, a financial adviser who runs Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has two hybrid vehicles herself. “I’m by no means suggesting that everyone purchase a hybrid,” she wrote. But the Honda does get 42 mpg and the Toyota? Closer to 50.

And Sarah Behr, founder of Simplify Financial Planning, told me that hybrids and solar panels all see a spike in demand when energy prices go up. “But it’s hard to know if the newfound demand will be sustained once energy prices normalize,” she said. — Charlie Wells

bloomberg



7 Comments on "Global Energy Crisis: Brace for Higher Gas, Electricity and Utility Bills"

  1. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 9th Oct 2021 10:20 am 

    “In reality, there’s a living wage shortage, a hazard pay shortage, a childcare shortage, a paid sick leave shortage, and a health care shortage – and American workers are demanding an end to all these shortages. Or they won’t return to work.

    They deserve it.”

    https://robertreich.org

  2. Biden's hairplug on Sat, 9th Oct 2021 11:20 am 

    “and American workers are demanding an end to all these shortages. Or they won’t return to work.”

    (((Robert))) is ignoring that Americans are underway to the trenches. They won’t return to work.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=f*+joe+biden

    “LET’S GO BRANDON”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Saq94I2in-Y

  3. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 9th Oct 2021 7:40 pm 

    “My chest X-rays do show COVID pneumonia, not serious. I am probably going to be admitted to the hospital,” West wrote. “There’s a concern about my oxygen saturation levels, which are at 89 and they should be at 95.”

    89? This right wing idiot is really sick.
    Good to get him out of the gene pool.
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/texas-allen-west-covid-19_n_61622bdbe4b0c1ab4bb4f861

  4. Biden's hairplug on Sun, 10th Oct 2021 3:32 am 

    Chinese reunification postponed a little, cooler heads prevail:

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3151400/tempers-check-china-and-us-foreign-policy-advisers-meet-zurich

    “Tempers in check as China and US foreign policy advisers meet in Zurich”

    It looks like China will (have to) wait until things start unraveling in the US. But… postponed is not called-off. Or, as the old Dutch saying goes:

    https://www.bbwebwinkel.nl/produktfoto/2018/03/wat-in-een-goed-vat-zit-verzuurt-niet-tegel_original_1.jpg

    (What’s in a good jar, doesn’t sour)

    Remember that nobody of geopolitical significance has recognized Taiwan as an independent country and that even the Biden-US has recognized the “One Nation – Two Systems” option, provided it happens peacefully. And I think that the Chinese can capture Taiwan in a matter of hours, without bombing the place to smithereens. Just drop 100,000 paratroopers over strategic locations, most of all TSMC and government buildings. The Taiwanese, who spend less than 2% on defense, will probably hardly bother to fight, just like the Afghan puppet government didn’t fight and simply submitted to their racial-religious brethren. I hope this scenario is peaceful enough for Sleepy Joe. This scenario would also be very beneficial for Australia, not giving the Chinese a pretext to come after them. Simply accept Chinese dominance over the lake on their own doorstep, without a fight.

  5. Biden's hairplug on Mon, 11th Oct 2021 7:13 am 

    “Chinese reunification postponed a little, cooler heads prevail:”

    Have to contradict myself:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10079579/China-warns-Taiwan-no-choice-battlefield.html

    “China warns it will have ‘no choice but to take it to the battlefield’ if Taiwan ‘continues provocative acts’ in latest sign that Beijing is gearing up for war”

    Apparently there is no understanding between the US and China over Taiwan.

    Just watched:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75uTN7x3D18

    “Niall Ferguson | AUKUS, China, Cold War II”

    Ferguson is way to upbeat about his expectation that China is weak, has no friends, is aging, is isolated and that China has more to fear from inner instability than the US (really?).

  6. Biden's hairplug on Wed, 13th Oct 2021 1:53 am 

    Volkswagen to slash every fourth job, thanks to e-mobility:

    https://www.focus.de/finanzen/boerse/aktien/konzernchef-diess-plant-umbau-vw-tief-in-der-krise-30-000-stellen-stehen-auf-der-kippe_id_24327958.html

    E-cars are extremely simple and have a longevity, longer than ICE-cars, which is basically good news for any society. Same wealth with less work. Basic income isn’t very far off anymore.

    https://www.focus.de/immobilien/wohnen/kosten-zeitaufwand-stolpersteine-tiny-house-bausatz-zum-selber-schrauben-joerg-wagt-do-it-yourself-experiment_id_24327483.html

    The rise of the Tiny House. Most people use their quarters as a sort of XXL-storage room for junk they don’t use but don’t want to throw away for mysterious reasons. As a student I lived for 5 years in a room of 4 x 5 = 20 m2. Those were pretty happy years. Nothing wrong with spending your first professional 10 years in 30-40 m2 (2 x 15-20 m2 stacked). You still have something to look forward too for the remaining 50-60 years: a house with a garden. Price tiny house: 30k. A sofa, a screen, a foldable bed, a bureau, a fridge. Kids can be stacked too until 8 years old. Easy to finance. And if you have a new job in a new town, take your XXL-trailer with you.

  7. Biden's hairplug on Wed, 13th Oct 2021 3:30 am 

    “UK economy grew by 0.4 per cent in August but it is STILL below pre-coronavirus levels as revised official statistics show that GDP actually went backwards in July”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10086941/UK-economy-grew-0-4-cent-August.html

    Difficult to see how you can grow with broken supply lines.

    “Pensioners may choose to eat rather than heat homes over fears about ‘unaffordable energy bills’, warns Age UK – as calls grow to extend Winter Fuel Payments to 5.5m households”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10084171/Pensioners-not-heat-homes-fears-unaffordable-energy-bills-warns-AgeUK.html

    Pensioners can keep warm by lying in bed all day, reading Charles Dickens about the glory days of the 19th century… that have just returned and turned out to be not that glorious after all, according to (early) 21st century standards, when Britain was still part of the EU.

    #CoolBritannia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_Britannia

    Now the phrase “Cool Britannia” mostly refers to the set point of the thermostat of the poorest 5.5 million Brits.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFpGv-jUbxc

    “Taking back control” latest. Nigel Farage discussing the possibility of light going out in Britain.

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