August market report

11 August 2023

After a few weeks of welcome mild stability, with prices achieving their optimum prices of the year, on the 9th of August UK gas prices surged 28% in a day amid Australian supply concerns – European gas prices witnessed a much more significant leap of nearly 40% as fears of a possible shortage of LNG arriving into the block. UK gas prices rocketed to over twice their traditional seasonal value as concerns grow about potential disruptions to liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports as workers at crucial LNG plants in Australia consider strike action. This surge may be nowhere near the rapid increases seen in wholesale prices in mid-2022, but it does give clear indications as to how volatile the market remains, with disputes on the other side of the planet having dramatic effects much closer to home!

The markets are expected to maintain a negative position from extensive planned works to Norwegian gas facilities which are scheduled to ramp up over the course of August, taking a significant volume of gas ‘offline’ from the European markets for several weeks. Continued uncertainty, recently seen on the oil market is also providing additional bullishness, which will almost certainly mean we have now passed the optimum time to renew for this year and prices will likely continue increasing as we enter the Autumn/Winter and demand increases.

With analysts forecasts for 2024 currently circa 40% higher than the current market prices, serious consideration should be given to looking to renew any electric or gas contracts due in the next 12 months now, to fix costs and provide some cost certainty as further turbulent periods are likely.

In other Energy News:

“Some energy suppliers are mistreating UK hospitality sector” – UKHospitality is making an appeal to the hospitality industry, urging Ofgem to swiftly implement important changes following its energy market review. The sector is being asked to unite and show support for Ofgem‘s recommendations by participating in the ongoing consultation. UKHospitality said one crucial focus is to encourage suppliers to address issues faced by businesses with their energy contracts. Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer of UKHospitality, has underscored the critical nature of this campaign. Ms Nicholls said: “Sky-high energy costs have decimated so many hospitality businesses, including those suffering from contracts fixed at prices far above current market rates. “The Ofgem review last week was crystal clear that many of the issues facing businesses lie at the door of the energy suppliers. Whether it is refusing to renegotiate contracts, demanding enormous deposits, or simply refusing to supply the sector, it’s clear that some energy suppliers are mistreating the sector.”

Gas prices soar: UK faces 35% surge in 2025 to keep lights on – The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has released updated cost estimates for various energy generation methods, marking the first update in three years. By 2025, gas costs for generating electricity in the UK will surge by 35% compared to previous estimates. That’s according to a report by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, with revised estimates indicating that renewable energy sources will become even more cost-effective than previously anticipated. The revised levelised cost estimates indicate that solar power’s affordability surpasses other energy generation methods, the trade association has said. With projected costs of only £41 per megawatt-hour in 2025, solar energy emerges as a strong contender in the nation’s quest for cleaner and more economical power sources. Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK, said: “In Britain, power generated by the sun is now a third of the cost of power made from burning gas and it will only get cheaper. The fastest way to permanently drive down energy bills is to build more renewables.”

For help and advice and to find out how Fox Energy can support and assist your business in these turbulent times, get in touch by calling 01233 884510 or email

Tan carefully at hotels, say TSA

How keeping linen working longer helps the environment.

Changing how hotel guests apply sunless tanning treatments to avoid staining linen during visits can have significant positive environmental impacts, says the Textile Services Association (TSA). This is following on from media stories highlighting the financial impact on the hospitality industry caused by badly stained linen.

A recent survey carried out by the TSA showed that over half the linen purchased by laundries servicing the hospitality industry is lost, stolen or damaged every year. Indeed, 50% of rented linen products last less than four months, well below the two year working life they could achieve if looked after correctly. Tanning lotion can cause serious staining that cannot be removed.

Helping to reduce the amount of linen that is destroyed not only saves money but reduces the environmental impact of having to replace it. It requires 15,000 litres of water and 8kg of carbon to produce one large bath towel, and a king size duvet cover takes 29,000 litres – enough to fill 365 bathtubs! Increasing the lifespan of linen products is hugely helpful to improving the sustainability of the planet.

“The laundry process is already circular, and we are committed to continuing to improve the environmental impact of the laundry industry further” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “A key part of that needs to be collaborating with the hospitality industry to improve how linen is used and how we can all help to reduce the amount badly stained items.”

Kimberley Nkosi is a renowned skin health specialist, entrepreneur and mentor who has provided her expertise for some of the biggest stars in the world and recently provided sunless tanning for the hit film Barbie. She explains, “There are so many benefits to using sunless tanning products, with society being more mindful and more aware of the damaged and prolonged exposure to UV rays. For some people having a sunless tan is a huge confidence boost. Who doesn’t feel better when they look tanned?”

The TSA is keen for hotel guests to still be able to use sunless tanning products guilt-free during their stays. This is why the Association feels it’s important to find ways to inform hotel guests about how to tan themselves without also tanning bedsheets and towels, as well as ensuring hotel staff are aware of best practice around handling serious stains.

Kimberley and the TSA have put together some advice for hotel guests looking to use sunless tans:

  • With “guide colour” treatments, it is essential that you are aware of how long the tanning treatment takes to develop, as this can be anything between 3 and 8 hours. During this time the risk of staining is high and therefore avoid any contact with linen where possible.
  • Ensure to shower off the residue guide colour after the development time.
  • Recommend using modern alternatives that lack guide colours, or even body butters where possible as they can provide the same look as traditional tanning treatments without the risk of leaving residue.
  • It is recommended that application tanning is done prior to arriving at the hotel. If applying during your stay, please be mindful of the effect tanning treatments can have on linen.
  • Onesies or similar clothing are a great way of stopping transfer to other materials after the tanning is applied.  Therefore we recommend guests planning on tanning during their stay should bring something protective like this.

“Sunless tanning treatments have increased in popularity in recent years, and there are many hotel guests who might apply them for a special night out during their stay,” says David. “Staining from tanning lotion is just one of the ways that hotel linen can become damaged. We’ve been building initiatives both for our members and in collaboration with our partner sectors in order to minimise this as much as possible. Finding ways to inform hotel guests is a challenge and we are looking for the support from the hotel sector to help make these simple behaviour changes as they can have huge positive effects on the quality of laundry and the environment.”

“Many people have no idea of the environmental impact of things like linen production,” says Kimberley. “It’s important to be mindful of our use of makeup and tanning products, and the small ways we can change our behaviour to improve things.”

The TSA is currently engaged with UKHospitality and UK Housekeeping Association by creating supporting material including training videos to help improve the understanding on how we can all make difference by looking after the millions of pieces of hospitality linen in circulation.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls says, “Alongside our members, we’ve been working with the TSA for more than a year on a number of issues, particularly extending the life of linen in hotels. We’re pleased to see the hard work on this issue coming together and will continue to work with the TSA to share these important messages.”

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