Commuting can become increasingly expensive, with the UK and the EU on the brink of a potential energy crisis. With so many things going on around the world, many people are looking for alternatives for energy and fuel. The move to greener methods of generating energy is also becoming ever more important.
If you are one of the millions of people dealing with such an increase in energy prices, you might be wondering how to commute more economically. The e-bike might be one of the options you could consider due to the limited energy usage and the extended range on many of the bikes.
To help you better understand the situation and give you some additional advice, we have created the following article. The article aims to look closer at how the energy crisis unfolds and what potential issues lie in wait. We will also look at some great ideas you can use to make your commute more affordable.
What reasons lead to the UK's energy crisis?
Anyone following the news might have seen the increasing price cap set for things like gas. In October 2021, the price surged past the £4.50 mark, reaching the highest price in about a decade. However, the question remains to why the massive price rise has happened and which factors are to blame:
The main reason for the increase in the price was first ignited by the concerns raised over Russian gas exports to Europe. With tension building up between Russia and the West in the latter part of 2021, concerns started rising about the imports of Russian oil and gas products. These have only been intensified in the last few months.
The high natural gas utilities caused at least 25 bankruptcies to crucial energy companies in December of 2021. As 2022 fits of rage on, we are also seeing more and more companies falling into the issue of energy supply and rising household energy bills. Many economists have pointed to more expected bankruptcies in the coming few months unless something can be done to reduce the price.
On 3 February 2022, Ofgem raised the energy price cap in the UK to its highest ever, pushing the cost of living in the UK to brand new highs as the energy price rises. Fortunately, the government did step in to try and offset the price hike and help out some of the consumers. It could reduce natural gas prices during the energy crunch.
In February, Russia decided to do what they call a "Special Military Operation" in the country of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the rest of the world did not agree with this invasion. Leading to increased sanctions and pressure to put more sanctions on Russian products. With Russia supplying a large portion of energy to Europe, bans against Russian oil were not implemented.
While countries are looking for alternatives to replace Russian natural gas and oil, the ax keeps hanging on the head of the consumer. At any moment, Russia has the power to sanction the export of natural gas and oil to the West, leading to rising energy prices and gas prices.
The culmination of what happened and what can happen also adds to the increased demand for energy. Gas and oil work on a supply and demand basis, which means the higher the demand, the more expensive energy bills become.
Essentially, energy prices, gas prices, and household bills are increased. The effect is reducing the economic recovery capabilities of consumers. It also has a negative effect on the global economy. We can see this with the increase in wholesale prices from manufacturers as a direct result of energy price increases.
While Covid-19 does not directly impact the prices of gas and oil, it is something that influences smaller businesses. With Covid-19 rules and regulations holding back the economy for almost two years, it is hard for people to recover. Businesses find it much harder to get back into the business and pay the new exorbitant energy prices.
During the start of the pandemic, the energy demand dropped significantly in countries like India, the UK, and the rest of Europe. However, the ability to do business also dropped at the same time. With the annual income dropping and the international situation worsening, it became harder for people to afford the new prices.
Covid-19 is the reason for the economic recovery we are looking for, but energy bills are making it much harder to play catch-up. Energy demand is increasing each day, and the energy sector cannot keep up. With increased electricity bills, the cost of manufacturing also goes up in EU countries. Finally, the cold winters add more fire to the flames with additional high demand.
Measures can be taken to alleviate problems
The UK government might not have been specifically prepared for the energy crisis, but honestly, Boris Johnson is taking the helm and leading. A couple of measures the UK government has implemented or is currently working on. These alleviate some of the burdens and make it livable for the consumer.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that £150 council tax rebates would be given to specific homes, one of the first measures taken. Additionally, it also aims to give around £200 discounts on utility bills for qualifying households.
Possible VAT Cuts
Energy UK has proposed that VAT be cut to reduce the expenditure of citizens on household bills. Currently, businesses pay around 20% VAT on electricity prices. However, cutting VAT could be detrimental in other situations.
Another one of the possible options raised is that the government steps in to reduce the cost of electricity. It will work in the same fashion as a standard subsidiary. The proposal states that the government should consider using public funds to subsidize these prices.
While it might not seem viable, it is suggested that if the government absorbs all of the high costs now, they can keep the energy price at an affordable price. Once the crisis dies down, the money is slowly paid back. This could lead to a more consistent price for utilities.
The only downside is the lack of knowledge. Unless the government has a concrete timeline on when such a crisis could end, it is not viable for them to absorb all the costs. It could harm other government spending and additional service delivery. Unfortunately, the energy price cap cannot be reduced to accommodate electricity prices.
The final option government might consider looking at is green levies. With the world looking to reduce carbon emissions, green levies have become ever popular worldwide. It could be suggested that green levies be scrapped for a set amount of time. However, this means the government would need to absorb the cost again.
Benefits of commuting by electric bikes
If the energy crisis has hit your wallet, you should be one of many people looking for an alternative. Unfortunately, the energy crisis is not something to be solved overnight, and soaring energy prices might get higher before they drop. The e bike or electric bike is your number one option to fight soaring energy prices. Here are a few benefits:
The first benefit is directly related to funds you will be saving. Not only is an electric biker cheaper than most vehicles on the road, but it does not use oil or fuel as a source of energy. The name suggests that the electric bike is simply powered by electricity. You will already save more on the cost of the vehicle than you would on a car.
Next, the cost of filling up the tank is essential. If you visit your local petrol station, you will pay for more fuel. Not only will you pay for the octane in the fuel and the price to convert it from gas to fuel, but there are plenty of levies. These include the green levies and other tax forms like VAT that spike the price.
Alternatively, you have the electric bike, which only needs to be charged. It does not draw enormous amounts of electricity to charge the bike, making it more efficient. You might not get the same range as you would in your car, but you will save.
Using electricity over fuel also cuts out some tax and additional costs that many consumers pay at a petrol station. You can reduce the VAT you pay, and there are no green levies levied on using an electric bike. Mile for mile, the electric bike is far more economical than your car.
The world is in a constant stage of trying to reduce carbon emissions. Nowadays, carbon emissions carry a "Green Tax." As mentioned, e-bikes do not have any green levies, and you could avoid this in terms of financial costs.
Additionally, it does not produce any carbon emissions, which means you won't influence global warming. Reducing your contribution to global warming is crucial if you want to sustain our future on this earth.
Aside from carbon emissions, there are plenty of adverse side effects on roads. The risk of injury increases, and damage to roads affects costs. The electric bike is lightweight and easy to use.
Fewer Overall Hassles
Looking past the economic component of electric bikes, you have something much easier to drive. The electric bike is the perfect alternative and does not force you to be stuck in traffic. Since you are avoiding potential traffic, you save a lot more on time.
While accidents can happen no matter which vehicle you are driving, the severity of injuries with an electric bike is significantly reduced.
E-city bikes recommendations (Eskute your commute)
We want to applaud you if you have made it this far. If choosing an electric bike is something you consider, you might wonder which electric bike to choose. The world is full of electric bikes for you to choose from, but we would recommend Eskute electric hybrid bikes.
Those who love taking on the road less traveled might want to look at the ESKUTE Netuno E-MTB. With all-terrain tires and a durable design, it is one of the most versatile options for rising energy prices. It also works well with all the UK roads.
Alternatively, the Eskute Polluno E-City Bike is one of the best road versions. It is specifically designed for commuting and comes with some incredible features. We recommend both of these bikes for their design and affordability.
With no light at the end of the tunnel, the request for alternatives seems to be rising. The electric bike is becoming increasingly popular. With increased demand, you will also find prices rising, and getting your e bike as soon as possible is recommended. Let us know in the comment section how you deal with the increased energy prices.