Mansfield and Ashfield homes record pandemic-fuelled rise in electricity use

Households in Ashfield and Mansfield recorded their largest rise in electricity consumption in eight years in 2020, figures show, as Covid forced people to spend more time at home.

By Federica Bedendo
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 12:27 pm

The figures come at a time of rising energy prices, with bills predicted to double this year.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show 196 Gigawatt hours of electricity were consumed by domestic meters in Ashfield in 2020, a 5 per cent rise on the 186GWh consumed in 2019 and the largest change since comparable records began in 2012.

In Mansfield, 168GWh were consumed, 6 per cent up on the 158GWh consumed in 2019, also the largest change since 2012.

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show 196 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity were consumed by domestic meters in Ashfield in 2020.

Across Britain, domestic electricity use rose by 5.6 per cent in 2020, but while people spent more time at home, lockdowns forced many businesses to close, with non-domestic consumption falling 11.1 per cent.

It means overall electricity use dropped 4.8 per cent – the largest year-on-year fall on record.

Fears have been raised about the soaring cost of energy bills – driven by rising gas prices – as work-from-home advice has been reintroduced.

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Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves is calling on the Government to remove VAT on domestic gas and electricity bills through winter to help families.

Ms Reeves said: “Right now, people are being hit by a cost-of-living crisis which has seen energy bills soar, food costs increase and the weekly budget stretched.

“We need a sustainable and ambitious approach to energy, which is why Labour would also ramp up ambition with our plan to retrofit 19 million homes, making our energy supply chain more secure without hitting household savings.”

Labour said new figures from the House of Commons Library show rising energy, food and other bills meant the Treasury is expected to have an extra £3.1 billion in VAT receipts this year, which it could use to fund the energy bill VAT cut.

However, the Government said VAT receipts were forecast to be below pre-Covid levels, with a loss of £2bn compared with directly before the pandemic.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has met energy companies and regulator Ofgem to discuss how to deal with soaring prices.

A Government spokesman said vulnerable households were being supported by initiatives such as the warm home discount, as well as winter fuel payments and cold weather payments.

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