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A couple of weeks back, Ofgem released the cost of the Balancing Mechanism for December, so we can at last release the results of our competition to guess the total bill for the year. Because we only came up with the idea in the autumn, NZW readers were only really predicting the last few months, so most of the entries were clustered in a fairly narrow range between £2 and £3 billion.

The outturn result was at the upper end of this range: £2.643 billion, representing about £90 per household. That’s up nearly a billion pounds on the previous year. Pretty awful, I think you’ll agree.

Still, for our lucky winner, who guessed £2.640, there is at least the consolation of a nice bottle of Scotch and one of our books to read.

And for everyone else, we can at least hold out some hope! On the electricity bills front, unfortunately, we can hold out only a little – the ground is shifting, but only slowly and there is a lot of harm to be undone. But on the whisky and good reading front there is much more cause for optimism. We were so pleased with the response to this year’s competition that we’ve decided to do another Balancing Mechanism Cost Competition for 2022! All you have to do is to tell us how much you think the bill will be this year. Once again, the prize is a bottle of whisky (or alternative tipple of your choice) and a book from the GWPF/NZW publications lists. If you’d like to enter, click here (takes you to a new site).