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Astronomical Energy Bills

Over the past week, shocked Europeans – mostly in the UK and Ireland – have been posting viral photos of shockingly high energy bills amid the ongoing (and worsening) energy crisis.

Several of the posts were from small business owners who getting absolutely crushed right now, and won’t be able to remain operational much longer.

One such owner is Geraldine Dolan, who owns the Poppyfields cafe in Athlone, Ireland – and was charged nearly €10,000 (US$10,021) for just over two months of energy usage.

Geraldine Dolan, of Poppy Fields Cafe, Athlone, with an electricity bill for just under ten thousand euro for two months. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

As the Irish Times reports, “The cost of electricity to the Poppyfields cafe for 73 days from early June until the end of August came in at €9,024.70 an increase of 250 per cent in just 12 months. There doesn’t include the €812.22 in VAT, which brought her total bill to €9,836.92.”

How in the name of God is this possible,” tweeted Dolan.

I got this electricity bill today, how in the name of God is this possible, we’re a small coffee shop in westmeath pic.twitter.com/uz5J8BePhB — poppyfields cafe.🇺🇦 (@DolanGeraldine) August 29, 2022

UK pensioners are also facing a “terrifying” winter, as elderly Britons are about to get hit with an 80% rise in energy bills in October.

Elderly Britons are set to welcome a boost of around £1,000 to their state pension payments next year thanks to the return of the triple lock, however the cost of living crisis will still leave them significantly poorer.

However, the price cap for energy bills will rise by 80 per cent to £3,549 in October, and it is predicted to rise over £6,600 next year according to Cornwall Insight.

Higher energy bills often hurt pensioners significantly more than the rest of the population because they spend a greater amount of their income on heating their home. -Daily Mail

According to Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, “‘It’s a truly frightening prospect and one that most could not have prepared for, and never expected to face at this point in their lives,” adding “I think a lot of older people will be utterly bewildered that it has come to this and will also feel badly let down, and I can’t say I blame them.”

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Twitter researcher ‘Crab Man’ (@crabcrawler1), who compiles deep dives on a wide variety of topics (and is absolutely worth a follow), has put together a lengthy thread of similar cases – and put it in the context of the current European energy backdrop. The situation is dire, to say the least.

https://t.co/GqKe6S0M7a — Crab Man (@crabcrawler1) August 30, 2022

Firebrick Brasserie. Lauder, United Kingdom. Had to close yesterday FOREVER, b/c of energy prices in the UK.

“energy prices that companies are charging – there is no price cap for businesses!!- have meant it is no longer sustainable for us to continue.”
https://t.co/67CrgVw7sd pic.twitter.com/NOvMTQpumR — Crab Man (@crabcrawler1) August 30, 2022

“Closed our tearoom we’ve successfully run for 7 years due to increasing costs in food/petrol/ utilities. Can’t sustain the hikes.” pic.twitter.com/BW0bgqH1kO — Crab Man (@crabcrawler1) August 30, 2022

“I currently pay £126 a month gas and electricity combined. Live alone. How the actual fuck can THIS be right? And I’m in a reasonable job. But I just can’t afford this. No fucking way.” pic.twitter.com/TvIcbW7NS3 — Crab Man (@crabcrawler1) August 30, 2022

“Telford chippy boss ‘in tears’ as £5k monthly gas and electric bill forces business to close” https://t.co/gMtXWQymbY — Crab Man (@crabcrawler1) August 30, 2022