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2017: Topsy-turvy year ahead for energy prices

Predictions make fools of us all, especially at times of global turbulence. But for business energy buyers, making predictions about the energy market can yield big cost savings in the future if your do forward purchasing at the right time. Utility Helpline is committed to saving business customers money on their energy deals. We work hard negotiating the best rates for our clients. But oftentimes the quality of the deal will depend on the timing. And with the outlook for a topsy-turvy energy year, a keen sense of timing could prove to be very important in the new year. After a volatile end to 2016, it appears that some of the energy price uncertainty has been carried over to the start of the year. There are, however, at least some things that the experts appear to agree about.

Oil prices in 2017

Towards the end of 2016, oil markets rallied after the Opec oil cartel announced that it would significantly cut production. This was followed up by another announcement that Russia and other non-Opec countries would be joining with the larger cartel and cutting their oil exports too. Experts have predicted that this will end a two-year long supply glut that has suppressed oil and energy prices. Now, following the announcements, most analysts expect the price of crude oil to increase this year. Forecasts range from an average price of $51 per barrel (West Texas Intermediate) to $61 per barrel (BofA Merrill Lynch). Historically, these predictions have been shown to be miles off the mark, so their impact in terms of what they can tell us is limited. But it is important to bear in mind that there is a strong link between the price for crude oil and the price of energy. Domestic and non-domestic energy prices have been increasing in recent months and experts expect that they will increase further still, at least during the first part of 2017. Forward-buying tariffs have also increased in price on expectations that prices will rise still further. With Utility Helpline, businesses can lock in low energy prices for up to five years. This means they can take risks on what the energy market will look like in years to come and potentially profit from their decisions. To discuss your energy buying options, please speak to a member of the Utility Helpline team. Call: 0800 043 0423.

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )