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The UK Economy and Its Effect on the Utilities Industry

Aug 26, 2008
Within this time of economic instability the utilities industry is being hit alongside all other sectors. But how much of an effect is the credit crunch really having on the sector and the people who work within it? Unfortunately dramatic effects on the utilities market are going to seen much more clearly than perhaps in other sectors. This is because utilities are a part of everyday life for everyone in the UK. At present, household utility bills are soaring across the board particularly utilities services such gas, electric and transport and arguably utilities services such as telecommunications (i.e. mobile and landline phones) will be hit too.

On average it is believed that a household now pays around 330 for its water bills per annum. In April the average water rates increase was 18, which equates to a rise of 5.8%. Energy bills have also grown, this time by around 15%, so that the average household is now paying over 1000. Although many consumers doubt that they are receiving any added benefits from their bill increases. In the case of the water rate increases they have been agreed by OFWAT, the industry regulator. Bill increases are seen to be necessary to improve the industries infrastructures. It is also said, in the case of water companies, that OFWAT has been working hard to keep prices down and if this wasn't the case costs would have been even greater.

Despite the growing charges, the utility industries, and therefore jobs within the sector, are looking fairly positive. For example, recently Southern Water was sold, despite the credit crunch, for 4.2 billion and it looks like others many follow suit and sell up. Some however are saying that this purchase price is far too high and may not be rewarded at the 2009 regulator price review.

Nevertheless jobs in the sector are reasonably secure. For example Water jobs such as engineers, technicians and managers are on the increase. Also, with the government putting pressure on utility companies to find greener alternatives and sustainability, there are also great numbers of roles growing in the area of research and development. This is the same with gas jobs and jobs in the energy industry as a whole, such as nuclear jobs. In fact, as fuel prices rise dramatically, there is more and more investment being put into finding new greener energy sources and improved ways of dealing with current environment issues relating to the utilities sector.

With all of these factors in play it can be seen that, despite the credit crunch and current downward economic trends, the utility industry is remaining a strong employment sector across the board. After all everyone is going to need electricity, gas and water despite increases in bill prices. These price increases ensure that investment is made into utility companies in order to find cheaper, sustainable alternatives. Also as the various companies compete within the sector a more skilled workforce is vital. This means that jobs increase, especially in areas connected to research and development of new and emerging technologies, and salaries remain competitive.
About the Author
Duncan Freer - Director - Utility Jobs Search is a job site dedicated to the specific needs of candidates who work in the utilities industry including gas jobs, energy jobs, water jobs, nuclear jobs plus many more.


For interviews, images or comments contact:
Duncan Freer,
Email: duncan@utilityjobsearch.com
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