06 October 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
Prices for gas and electricity have dropped in the past few weeks and now is an opportune time to capitalise on reduced prices, according to energy specialists John Hall Associates.
The firm said rates for 12 months' consumption of gas with delivery from October 2007 have fallen from 56.33p/therm at the beginning of September to 49.20p/therm yesterday.
Prices for the equivalent product in the electricity market have fallen from £49.23/megawatt hour to £43.33/megawatt hour yesterday.
Managing director John Hall said this comes as a respite for energy buyers who have had to bear the brunt of successive increases in recent years: "Last winter's volatile energy prices contributed to 100,000 job losses in the UK manufacturing sector," he said.
Damien Cox, analyst at John Hall, told supplymanagement.com a "fine balance" will continue with a raft of global factors potentially affecting prices. However, for the risk-averse who have not yet arranged supply for winter 2007, now is a good time to purchase, he said. "Those who are more adventurous could hold out longer to see if prices continue to go down," he added.
Prices have reduced in part as a result of new and improved infrastructure, including a new trunkline between Norway and England that is now operational (News, 5 October). In addition, the hurricanes that affected US refineries last year have so far held off this year. Prices fell so much this week that gas was being given away.