Coffee House

The politics of energy

20 November 2012

9:13 AM

20 November 2012

9:13 AM

When David Cameron made his surprise announcement about forcing energy companies to offer customers their cheapest deal, he added, as an afterthought, that the leader of the opposition had missed the chance to be on the side of the consumer when he was energy secretary. I would be surprised if the average voter knows that Miliband was energy secretary; but, from Cameron’s perspective, the line of attack makes sense: energy prices and the cost of living are vital political issues for this government.

The government, then, will be thrilled that Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s plans (which appear to be based largely on Ofgem’s recent ideas about simplifying tariffs: Davey will limit companies to 4 tariffs), to deliver Cameron’s unexpected promise were the lead news item on Sky News and BBC Breakfast this morning, as well as featuring prominently on ITV’s shows. The policy ought to have cut through to the people who stand most to benefit, which will make the task of selling the government to voters easier.


Yet, as the Guardian’s Patrick Wintour points out, the real test of the policy is whether it lowers prices. Wintour quotes several commentators who warn that the plans will kill off price competition within the energy market, and therefore increase prices. They also warn that the proposals do not address the fundamental problem of rising energy costs.

These points were reinforced by Angela Knight, the former Tory cabinet minister now representing Energy UK, who reminded viewers that ‘more than half’ of our energy bill contains costs beyond the energy firms’ control: pipes and wiring for the network, fluctuations in the wholesale market, ‘social obligations to insulate people’s homes’ and the increased ‘renewable obligations’. Knight’s comments suggest that prices will not fall dramatically.

Labour is trying to pre-empt Davey’s announcement. Energy spokesman Tom Greatrex told Sky News that he believes the energy market needs to be reformed and made more transparent. He wants to see cuts in the wholesale price of fuels passed on to the consumer, which will require the creation of an emboldened regulator. And he wants market reform to weaken the influence of the Big Six. Labour clearly reckons that prices will not fall substantially without deeper changes than those being proposed today, and that there is capital to be made by making this argument.

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Show comments
  • Q46

    All in an attempt to deflect public attention from the high additional cost of solar and wind subsidies added to energy bills by politicians who having bought into the AGW scam now realise they were had and are too embarrassed and dishonest to say so.

  • D B

    This is good news for the hard-pressed consumer.

  • Daniel Maris

    1. Feed in Tariffs are a wholly bad idea, the equivalent of trying to build the whole of a national motorway network on the back of toll fees.

    2. We should abandon Feed in Tariffs and the renewables obligation, and instead fund green energy expansion from Stamp Duty, which raises several billion pounds a year, with money from general taxation as necessary.

    3. The money from 2 would be used to purchase PV systems (or other green energy systems) and insulation for properties subject to the Stamp Duty. The remainder would be used to purchase Green Energy Bonds which would be held with a national Green Energy Fund. The Fund would finance larger schemes – wind, hydro, tidal and so on – which would sell the electricity. There would be interest paid on the bonds, which would return to the bond holder.

    • itdoesntaddup

      Subsidising uneconomic energy is not a good policy, however you source the subsidies.

      • Daniel Maris

        If we had taken your attitude we wouldn’t have a national grid, we wouldn’t have had a motorway network and we wouldn’t have had the internet.

        Fortunately for the Danes, Chinese and Germans – amongst others – they plan ahead, they don’t think like a weak-minded City broker with an annual bonus time horizon.

        In energy policy, as well as basic price information, you need to factor in:

        1. Price stability.

        2. Energy independence.

        3. Clean air and health gains.

        4. Avoiding cataclysmic failures (as seen at Fukushima and Chernobyl).

        5. Avoiding huge decommissioning costs (as with nuclear and to some extent coal and gas, due to soil contamination).

        6. Domestic economic stimulus (and where that stimulus falls within your country).

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Is that your opinion, as a power engineering expert?

          • Daniel Maris

            No, my views as someone who reads, reflects and concludes. If you don’t think price stability, energy independence, clean air, avoiding cataclysmic failiers, avoiding huge decommissioning costs and stimulating your own economy are important considerations for an energy policy, please say so.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Well, they all may be, but you have no real idea as to it unless you’re the power engineering expert your posts purport you to be.

        • itdoesntaddup

          The motorway network, national grid (at least as originally constructed before windmills) and the internet do not require any subsidy, and make economic sense.

          Energy policy should be about aiming for lowest cost on a levellised basis, tempered by a spread of risk related to range of cost estimates and security of supply. Levellised costs take account of decommissioning and failure risks (such as wind not blowing, interruption to fuel supply etc.) and therefore will include measures to mitigate failure risk.

          However, let’s look at windmills against your criteria:

          1) Windmill power is about the most volatile priced source going. Its value can range from strongly negative, to extremely high when the wind isn’t blowing at all. Fail.

          2. Windmill generators depend on having Nd magnets. 98% of global Nd production comes from one country – China. No other source of energy is effectively dependent on one foreign country in the same way. Fail.

          3. Fail.

          4. Fail.

          5. Like to provide an estimate for the cost of remedial work to remove a windmill and its foundations? Fail.

          6. Windmills are made abroad, and by making power too expensive, kill jobs in the economy. Fail.

          Nul points.

          • Daniel Maris


            Those three networks (M ways, national grid, and internet) would never have
            been developed without state aid and support. They weren’t “economic”
            in your narrow definition.

            1. I think you are confusing the price of fuel with the price of electricity. The price of fuel (in effect wind turbines, since wind power itself is free) is pretty stable, certainly in comparison with oil and gas which has shot up and down by 100-200% in the space of a few years. The price of electricity does vary for a range of reasons (supply and demand).

            2. Nd is found virtually everywhere on the planet. We just find it more convenient to let the Chinese dig it up. Not very honourable, making use of cheap peasant labour, but that argument could be applied to a range of products.

            3. One Daily Mail article? Come on… That didn’t amount to a hill of beans.

            4. Couldn’t view but the video but I think I know the story. Again one or even a few turbines burning up in a storm is hardly the end of

            an energy sector. Compare and contrast with Chernobyl, Fukishima or the flooding of conventional power stations. Wind turbines survive hurricanes v. well.

            5. A lot less than looking after drums of nuclear fuel for 20,000 years. I suspect the scrap metal price might well pay for its removal.

            But I certainly don’t see any prospect of the wind power infrastructure being removed over the next few decades. The turbine towers won’t fall down and the maintenance hardways won’t need much repair. Wind turbines really will come into their own, producing very cheap energy.

            6. Well, you have to ask why Britain, with probably the best wind resources on the planet per sq km, doesn’t have a well developed wind energy industry like Denmark. That was partly a matter of political will.

            • itdoesntaddup

              1. You set the terms of stable energy prices. Electricity is energy. Wind power prices are the most extremely volatile of any type of generation.

              2. There is a difference between trace quantities and an economically mineable resource. China has a monopoly on economically mineable Nd resources.

              3. & 4. It really isn’t hard to find plenty of information on these topics. Pretending it doesn’t exist won’t wash.

              5. There are already derelict windfarms in the USA, and the Danes are finding that their offshore farms suffer from poor longevity due to corrosion etc. I think that disposal and remediation will become a big issue much sooner than you suppose. I still await a cost estimate from you. Remember that each 3MW turbine requires 1,000 tonnes of concrete foundation.

              6. It has been shown that even in countries that do have some element of windmill industry, far more jobs are lost than created by relying on windmills. You fail to address the point at all.

  • jheath

    I love the way Labour seems to pretend that it did not create the Big Six cartel with its mistaken reform of the wholesale electricity market. Cameron and Davey are just scratching the surface of the problem – cartel, subsidies, politicised regulation etc.

  • TomTom

    Munich had power cuts last week and NRW has just signed a deal to keep coal-fired power stations running for fear that trains will grind to a halt this winter. Germany is facing power cut because of dimwit energy policies and needs to burn more coal to ensure renwables do not leave them in the cold this winter. I vote that ALL BBC studios be powered by windmill power and be disconnected from all other power sources – let them see how long their enormous power usage survives on windmills.

    The West is bonkers and has lost sight of strategic resources. China consumes 40% minerals in the world but the dimwit British think they will always get access to energy, metals, food by selling themselves as prostitutes

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Good plan. And the BBC blows so much hot air those windmills would never run out of juice. So it’s a win-win.

    • Daniel Maris

      WHy are you spreading misinformation TomTom? The power cut was caused by a fire at a sub-station – nothing to do with a lack of electricity:

      “The reason was a small fire which had broken out at a substation, said a police

      • itdoesntaddup

        Well, it seems that the blame is being passed around:

        Stadtwerke Muenchen GmbH is investigating the cause of the outage that spread across Munich’s southwest, starting at 7
        a.m., the utility said today in an e-mailed statement. The outage lasted from 10 minutes in some parts to more than three hours in the Aubing district, disrupting commutes in the city that is home to Siemens AG (SIE) and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), and causing an explosion at a transformer station in the Bogenhausen district.

        Power supply has moved to the center of the political
        agenda in Germany ever since Chancellor Angela Merkel decided in
        March 2011 to replace nuclear reactors with clean fossil-fired
        plants and a growing share of renewable-energy sources. Her
        government has backed plans to prevent utilities including EON
        SE and RWE AG (RWE) from closing unprofitable power plants as the
        nation seeks to safeguard supply.

        Abrupt Change

        The abrupt policy change risks creating shortages in Germany’s industrial south, which has lost about 5 gigawatts of reactor capacity, because of a lack of cross-country power lines, according to state-owned researcher Dena Energy Agency.

        Statdwerke Muenchen said the failure originated at the intersection of a power line owned by the utility and a switch point of the EON grid. EON rejected the blame, saying in an e-mailed statement that its network didn’t experience any interruptions until about an hour after the failure began.

        What we have is daisy chain failure of part of the grid because of capacity constraints. Something we’ll get in the UK too.

        • Daniel Maris

          What you’ve got there is Tom Tom rhetoric tacked on to a story about a fire at a sub-station.

          This wasn’t a power outage caused by a lack of power. If anything it sounds like a power outage caused by an excess of power – a surge. The cause of that has yet to be determined.

          • itdoesntaddup

            No, It’s a Bloomberg report. Rather more informative than the Reuters you quoted. Transformers explode when they’re overloaded. The overloading occurred because of insufficient network capacity to offer alternative routes, almost certainly because power had to flow from out of region due to the nuclear closures. Grid instability is a major problem when generation is not predictably available close to demand.

            • Daniel Maris

              No, it’s speculation dressed up as a factual account.

              Everyone knows that a modern energy grid has to be sophisticated in its response to supply and demand. The idea that is beyond the wit of man is absurd. The German grid are denying it was a problem with the grid supply.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                All of which I’m certain you well understand, as you’re obviously a power engineering expert.

                But if you’re not that, then your post is bovine excrement.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Going by your logic, Viceroy, you have to be a hangman before you are allowed to express a view on capital punishment. Odd…

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Reductionism is your response?

                  I’ll take that as your acknowledgement that your detailed posts here re power engineering are nothing but bovine excrement, as you have not the expertise to be making them.

                • Daniel Maris

                  No, my posts – where they contain technical information – are sharing of knowledge gleaned from various expert sources e.g. Wind Energy Associations, Governmental agencies and so on.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Precisely. You have no real knowledge or training by which you speak in such detail, meaning you wouldn’t understand whether what you’re posting is bovine excrement or gospel.

                • Daniel Maris

                  I follow the arguments – pro and con – and I see what either side says about the others’ arguments. I don’t think the energy issues are really that difficult to follow. In what areas of policy do you think it is valid for lay people to give their views, having read expert opinion? None?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re not following energy issues, you’re describing detailed power engineering, and as you’ve already informed us, you’re spectacularly unqualified to do so.

                  You have no basis to evaluate “expert opinion”, as you are not an expert or even remotely trained in power engineering.

                  What you’re typing is bovine excrement, by your own admission.

                • Daniel Maris

                  No, I took Tom Tom to task for linking the Munich power cut to the claim that:

                  “Germany is facing power cut because of dimwit energy policies”

                  Tom Tom gave no evidence for that and neither did the Bloomberg report.

                  If we waited for a power engineer to come along, Tom Tom’s distortion of the facts would have stood without comment.

                  I suggest you don’t bother doing any more yellow writing in the snow. 🙂

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, actually, TomTom referenced fossil fuel power stations that are recently being contracted to keep running so as to preclude the power shortages in Germany resulting from inadequate “green” foolishness. You failed to counter his assertion, meaning you accept it.

                  And as I am a power engineer, or at least much more of one than you, I can tell you that the only distortion of facts provided in this discussion are yours, which is to be expected, as by your own admission you are spectacularly unqualified to be speaking about these issues, which you’re foolishly attempting to do in detail.

                  Please, just stop. Your ignorance and determination to broadcast it is embarrassing. It’s just piles of bovine excrement.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Well I can understand sentence construction. In Tom Tom’s sentence the reference to coal power stations had no connection with the power cut in Munich.

                  Since you are a power engineer, perhaps you can explain why there aren’t regular power cuts in Denmark where now 33% of electricity is produced from wind energy?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I’ll leave you to fantasize what you want his post to say. I’m only dealing with what he wanted it to say, and you haven’t done anything to counter that, other than to whine and blather on ignorantly.

                  I don’t guess that discussing any facet of engineering with you is of any value, as to the who, what, where, why and when of it. You’re not sufficiently trained or educated, no matter your constant pilings of bovine excrement.

                  You should just stop.

                • Daniel Maris

                  I’ll take that as an admission that you can’t explain why Denmark with 33% of its electricity produced from wind energy doesn’t suffer regulare power cuts.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Seriously, son. You should just stop now. You’ve acknowledged your ignorance of these matters, although that was already clear. It’s best if you just stop now.

                • Daniel Maris

                  I wasn’t speaking, so my level of technical knowledge doesn’t come into it. I was offering you – a self-proclaimed power engineer – the opportunity to speak, to explain why Denmark (with its 33% of electricity generated by wind power) doesn’t experience regular power cuts.

                  I would have thought that was an easy-peasy exercise for you.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I might be, or it might not be, but as you’ve acknowledged, you have no idea which, as you’re technically illiterate, and only manage to pile up bovine excrement.

                  You should stop now.

  • Daniel Tekel Thomas

    Dave is taking us for fools again by pretending he’s on the side of the consumer. Talking about forcing the energy companies to give us the cheapest deal is spin pure and simple.
    Energy bills are artificially high because consumers are a paying a premium to ‘combat climate change’.
    Everyone and his uncle knows that if Great Britain cut its CO2 emmissions to zero it will have no impact on global temparatures whatsoever. Nor will it encourage China, India or the USA to cut their emissions.
    Making the British economy uncompetative to line the pockets of well connected businessmen, lobbyists and politicians or to help ageing hippies feel warm and fuzzy inside is the height of insanity

  • William Haworth

    Why is a Conservative-led government passing laws to protect people who are too idle to shop around for themselves?

    • ButcombeMan

      Because fuel poverty exists and many people are not able, by age or other disability, to shop around in a system deliberately designed to make it difficult.

    • itdoesntaddup

      a) to distract from the fact that energy bills are needlessly expensive, thanks to energy policy; and
      b) because the current pricing structure is not competitive at all – it is designed to obfuscate via complicated terms and conditions and high frequency of bait and switch offers that no internet comparison site can fairly evaluate.

    • HooksLaw

      Conservative governments are not and have never been opposed to opposed to regulation. Oftel (later Ofcom) was created by a conservative govt.)

    • Clive Holland

      Because poor old people like me who are not net saavy can’t do it Simples

  • Albert Cooper

    The policy still remains to subsidise Green Energy through our enegy bills,by stealth ! so bills will keep rising still

    • dalai guevara

      ‘Stealth’ is an outcome best described by observing the actions of the war-for-oil-‘now watch that drive’-Dubya-groupies charging $30 before and $130 after they played their little game that no one really enjoyed playing.

  • anyfool

    Labour clearly reckons that prices will not fall substantially without deeper changes.

    This from a party that has spent its last term in office forcing up the price of everything especially energy, they did this for tax and vat receipts but mainly for the spurious argument that their government was greener than all others, all the others that counted did not care.

    The main driver of this was Miliband a man of minuscule ability, that Cameron tried to outdo this weak minded fool says to everyone in this country even atheists Pray just in case, otherwise hope is the last resort and look where that is going in the US.

  • James Randall

    Certainly some people will end up paying more for their gas & electricity. These are the people that shop around and are currently on the lowest possible tariffs, which will be being subsidised by more expensive tariffs others are paying (those that don’t shop around, people without internet access and those that don’t realise there are other tariffs). I wouldn’t be surprised if more people benefit than lose out, but it will be the minority that do lose out who will be most vocal.

    As for wiping out price competition? Why? Competition should be between companies not between customers of the same company. Reducing the number of tariffs a company can offer still provides them with the opportunity to compete on price against other companies.

  • Colonel Mustard

    The previous government did nothing. This government tries to do something, however imperfect, but the advocates of the previous government fall on it. A lot of the green lobby’s arguments and objections are beginning to sound like “Heads we win, tails you lose”.

    • telemachus

      Weasel words reiterating the indecision of the above Mr Colman

      If the Coalition will not renationalise to bring down prices then can they attack

      The coalition in fact pretends that its energy policies are good for keeping prices low, cutting carbon emissions and creating jobs.

      But in reality they are only helping rich multinationals of the fossil fuel industry.

      Osborne has promised huge subsidies for deep sea oil and gas exploration off
      the coast of the Shetland Isles.

      Any easily-accessible oil and gas has long been extracted, so any new fields would be far more difficult and expensive to reach.

      This creates pressure to relax the safety boundaries, as witnessed by the Deepwater Horizon(BP-Gulf) disaster in 2010.

      The solution is to create climate jobs

      Creation of a national climate service could provide a million people with well‑paid employment that would reduce emissions.

      Some of these jobs would be in energy efficiency, providing our homes with the
      insulation needed to reduce energy use and to help tackle fuel poverty.

      Many jobs could be created by developing a public transport system which could provide people with affordable, available and accessible transport.

      There are jobs in education, training and skills and in agriculture.

      Crucially, many jobs could be created in renewable energies that don’t produce damaging emissions.

      Why are these industries are being ignored?

      Not because they can’t provide the amount of energy we need but because they challenge the profits of the fossil fuel corporations.

      • itdoesntaddup

        There is no evidence that safety standards are compromised in more difficult environments: indeed, they are usually much higher, both by dint of regulation, and by dint of employee practice and economics: the consequences of failure tend to be more catastrophic.

        There are no subsidies on offer for offshore exploration West of Shetland, unlike say the 5 ROCs/MWh on offer for marine power generation systems.

        There are plenty of jobs in greenergy. In fact, many of them are promoting uneconomic projects such as PV, or indeed uneconomic insulation projects.

        We already have extensive and heavily subsidised public transport. The ways to make it cheaper are to reduce its energy input cost, and to pursue automation – not by loading it down with more employees.

        Many jobs could be created if we had an internationally competitive cost of energy. Why are those opportunities being ignored?

        • itdoesntaddup

          1.7 MWh = 1 barrel of oil equivalent

          5 ROC is worth £200, equivalent to a subsidy of £340, or $544 per barrel of oil.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Oh, you again. What a surprise. The rebuttal unit has been switched on the and the machine is gurgling out the soundbites. No mention of “charismatic” Balls though. Tch tch.

      • HooksLaw

        ‘Why are these industries are being ignored?’ — well Labour ignored them for 13 years.

        Pretending that easily accessible oil and gas has been extracted ignores reality and the transformation of the US energy market by shale oil/gas. But then everything you write is peppered with ignorance. ‘A national climate service’? 1 million ‘well paid jobs’ – just who pays the salaries of these million people?

        But in terms of ‘climate’ you are as bigger howler at the moon as everyone else.
        ‘Over the last 10 years or so as new data have accumulated the general
        trend and likely future course of climate change has become reasonably
        clear. The earth is entering a cooling phase which is likely to last about 30 years and possibly longer.’

        • telemachus

          ‘Why are these industries are being ignored?’ — well Labour ignored them for 13 years.
          But the world has changed Blair directed by Brown presided over the boom years
          All that was needed was a light touch on the tiller
          Now we must be proactive and visionary

      • Keith

        You can create unlimited jobs by giving the unemployed shovels and telling them to dig holes and then fill them in again.

        Doesn’t mean you should.


        • Fergus Pickering

          Sorry Keith.I pinched your post. I think the guy was sent to try us.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Industries? Making what? Doing what? You can create jobs by getting people to dig holes and then fill them in again. You can create jobs at a stroke by doubling the clerks and pen pushers in the civil service. Oh, and we could create jobs by hiring more soldiers for the invasion of France that you have in mind. Your guru is obviously Adolf Hitler..

    • itdoesntaddup

      The previous government did plenty of things, all designed to make our energy more expensive. Ed Miliband was in the forefront: the Climate Act, 2008, and the Energy Act 2010 for starters. Miliband and Labour are hypocrites on energy issues.

  • ShaleGasExpert

    The answer is simple:

    But since people like Centrica and We Stitch U Up can’t make any money on it, I don’t live in any hope.
    Anyone else in the world finds the fact that the UK PM worries himself about minutiae like gas bills really rather pathetic.

    • Matthew Whitehouse

      When nothing is done, and nothing is done still, and then more time goes by and still nothing is done… Eventually, the most high up person in the land tries to kick the issue into being sorted, which may or may not work BUT we have a prime minister who knows how badly people are affected by extortionate energy prices. May be you do not suffer too much from energy prices (lucky you, lucky me too) but for hundreds of thousands of people in 21st Century Britain they will choose to either EAT or HEAT. This may sound like an exaggeration, but I promise you it is not. It is a disgusting reality check on Britain today. Disgusting.

      • ButcombeMan

        Quite right. I despair of Cameron in many issues, he got this one right. There IS a big problem. It is fairly obvious that the multiplicity of tariffs and the way they are so complicated, including that ridiculous “standing charge” is deliberately designed to obfuscate and make it hard for many, even most people, to work out what is best.

        When I was with EDF they absolutely refused to help me identify the best tariff for my useage, despite them knowing everything about my useage.

        Needless to say I will never return to them.

    • Cogito Ergosum

      One gas bill is indeed a minutia, but when every gas bill is bigger than the previous one, largely to pay for all the green nonsense, then it does bcome a serious policy matter.

      It’s a pity our Dear Leader has no grasp of technical or scientific issues and instead listens to other politicians.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    Every point of view from lobbyists, pressure groups and parties faithfully reported. I’d like to see a little analysis of whether what they say is true. There is more than a suspicion here of a rigged market. Not just rigged by the energy companies but by the government too. Major reform is needed, not some pathetic nibbling at tariffs.

    And that is without even mentioning continuity of supply. That is the biggest issue and to ignore it is fatal. Literally fatal.

    • telemachus

      The only worthwhile analysis comes from the fact that the poor are paying the rich via the dividends from the energy companies massive unjustified amounts.
      Sid lined the pockets of the well enough off to buy shares and keeps them and their friends well oiled
      Can anyone tell me a fairer solution than renationalisation

      • Rhoda Klapp

        Can’t renationalize, we’re in the EU.

        • telemachus

          OK then see below

        • dalai guevara

          Correct – what would you do if you wished to take that route but could not in all but the name? You regulate a fixed pricing as proposed. It is quasi-nationalisation, and not an idea of the Brussels socialists, I noted.

          • Rhoda Klapp

            I regulate to ensure real competition. Which is what Cameron is approaching, albeit from some distance. I wouldn’t subsidise renewables or tax energy and I’d make damn sure that companies were not fiddling on pain of summary removal from the market. I’d use a basket of other national energy prices to give a benchmark. I’d allow people to build power stations and not require good stations to be closed because the EU says so. I’d realise that energy prices are a major factor in prosperity and growth. I would not accept a policy of parsimony. I’d require a contract between supplier and customer which guaranteed continuity on pain of rebate. Why the hell should anyone supplying me with anything be allowed to renege on their part with no penalfty? Yes, water companies, you too. Ban my hosepipe, give my money back.

            I would not as a general principle have any nationalised industry or service except in cases where the government or nation was the originator of that service.

            • dalai guevara

              All good points, so given we should at all costs avoid the quasi-nationalisation route, how can we ensure proper competition and not just a reporting of YOY rise in profits? It seems the same applies here as in banking: reduce their size, increase their number. In some instances, we might even see local energy producers in local ownership. Who would have thought that would be a plan?

              • Fergus Pickering

                No..Are you? Why would I want to be on a meter?

                • dalai guevara

                  Because it costs me half. £600pa? It was the first thing I sorted when I moved in.

      • Hexhamgeezer


        Remove ‘green’ taxes that freeze pensioners to death. And therefore obviate the need for ludicrous bureaucratic schemes that supposedly prevent this.


      • Fergus Pickering

        Renationalisation of what, old so?. How much do you pay the energy companies for what belongs to them or do you just take Bolshevik style? Invasion of France perhaps?

        • telemachus

          Your last phrase is a good thought.
          Capture Marine as a trophy.
          But of serious import I cannot see this or any other government exerting any influence on these energy giants without a degree of control however obtained

    • 2trueblue

      The pipes and wiring is an ongoing problem that companies have not attended to for over 20yrs. Our energy policy is crap, and as you say continuity has been neglected, by the previous government, and now we have got no nearer to solving that. We just tinker with wind and let the energy companies ride roughshod over us whilst there is nothing in place to keep it going. We are all now reliant on Russia. Good, eh?