Press release

UK energy statistics: statistical press release - March 2013

Energy trends and Quarterly energy prices published.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Press Release 2013/030

Energy Trends and Quarterly Energy Prices publications are published today 28 March 2013 by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The publications cover new data for the fourth quarter of 2012 and thus provisional annual data for 2012. This press release focuses on the 2012 annual data.

Energy Trends covers statistics on energy production and consumption, in total and by fuel, and provides an analysis of the year on year changes. Quarterly Energy Prices covers prices to domestic and industrial consumers, prices of oil products and comparisons of international fuel prices.

The key points from 2012 are:

  • Total energy production was 10½ per cent lower than in 2011, due to the significant falls in oil and gas production as a result of maintenance activity, as well as longer-term decline on the UK Continental Shelf.

  • Imports in 2012 were at a record high, with exports at their lowest level since 1989. Net import dependency rose to 43 per cent, the highest level since 1976.

  • Total primary energy consumption for energy uses rose by 2½ per cent from 2011. When adjusted to take account of weather differences between 2011 and 2012, primary consumption fell by under ½ per cent. Final energy consumption was 2 per cent higher than in 2011.

  • Of electricity generated in 2012, coal accounted for 39½ per cent (an increase of 9 percentage points on 2011) and gas 27½ per cent (a decrease of 13 percentage points on 2011), mainly due to high gas prices.

  • Renewables’ share of generation increased by 2 percentage points on 2011 to a record 11½ per cent.

  • Average annual household standard electricity bills (fixed consumption of 3,300 kWh per annum) across all payment types in 2012 are £26 higher than in 2011 (up 5.7 per cent to £479), and average gas bills (fixed consumption of 18,000 kWh per annum) across all payment types are £81 higher (up 11.3 per cent to £800).

Other highlights from 2012 include:

  • Oil production was 14½ per cent lower than in 2011, the lowest annual production volume since our current reporting system began. Production of petroleum products was down 8½ per cent, with the closure of Coryton in July 2012 a key factor.

  • Natural gas production was 14 per cent lower than in 2011, and at its lowest level since 1985. Gas exports and imports were, respectively, 21½ per cent and 6½ per cent lower than in 2011.

  • Coal production was 10 per cent lower than in 2011. Coal imports were 37½ per cent higher. Generators’ demand for coal was higher by 31 per cent. Coal stocks were 18 per cent lower, and at a record low for the year end.

  • Within final energy consumption there were rises in all sectors except transport. Domestic consumption rose by 10 per cent due to the cooler weather in 2012, with temperatures in 2012 being 1.0 degrees cooler than 2011. On a seasonally and temperature adjusted basis final energy consumption was broadly unchanged.

  • Gas demand was 5½ per cent lower than in 2011, largely driven by the fall in gas demand for electricity generation. Electricity consumption was under ½ per cent lower than in 2011 and at its lowest level since 1998.

  • Electricity generated in 2012 fell by 1 per cent, from 367.8 TWh a year earlier to 363.2 TWh.

  • Low carbon electricity’s share of generation increased from 28 per cent in 2011 to 30½ per cent in 2012, due to higher renewables and nuclear generation.

  • Nuclear’s share of generation increased by 1 percentage point on 2011, to 19½ per cent of the total. Hydro generation decreased by 8 per cent on 2011 as a result of lower rainfall in the main hydro areas, whilst wind rose by 31½ per cent, of which offshore wind rose by 45½ per cent, due to increased capacity. Overall hydro and wind generation was 21 per cent higher than in 2011.

  • UK domestic gas and electricity prices are the lowest and fifth lowest in the EU15 respectively.

  • The price for coal paid by generators fell by 17 per cent, whilst the price for gas rose by 11½ per cent in 2012 compared to 2011.

The March 2013 edition of Energy Trends also includes articles on:

  • Coal in 2012
  • Domestic energy bills in 2012: The impact of variable consumption
  • Petrol and diesel prices
  • Long-term mean temperatures 1981-2010
  • DECC and the new Government website
  • UKCS capital expenditure survey 2012

The full statistical release is available.

Energy statistics: Press notice (13/030)

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Published 28 March 2013