Could this ‘f’ word be good for your wallet?

Fracking! It’s a relatively new word to describe a relatively new process to get to a very old energy supply.

Across the EU, there is growing hope that the continent could soon reduce its reliance on expensive imported energy thanks to fracking (a complex process of injecting a cocktail of water and chemicals into the ground to release gas reserves trapped in rock formations).

At a household level, fracking has the potential to significantly reduce energy bills.

But across Britain and the wider EU, there is a raging battle between pro and anti-fracking camps. In Britain, it has opened up a North-South debate with Prime Minister David Cameron recently saying that the south of England must get used to the idea as well as the process of fracking (in other words, it would not be confined to the north of the country).

Those against fracking argue the process could contaminate ground water supplies while those in support argue the lower household bills case.

In the US, there is now a full-scale boom in fracking where industry experts predict the country could free itself from reliance on imported energy in less than a decade. US industry is already benefitting from substantially lower manufacturing costs as a direct result of cheaper gas prices.

Here in the EU, energy experts predict the price of wholesale gas may reduce by almost half, from $11 [million metric British thermal units] to around $6.50.

From industry to households, the stakes are enormous.

Any respite in the endless rise in monthly energy bills would be welcomed by householders everywhere. But much depends on politics as much as it does on commercial reality.
One thing is for certain, a fall in energy prices will not come soon enough for families everywhere.

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