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« Two questions | Main | Lost Horizons »
Thursday
Nov012012

Scottish Power on cost of green policies

I was pointed to this brochure at last night's [Tuesday's] UKIP meeting (click for full size). It does seem to show that Ed Davey is trying very hard to make those in fuel poverty even poorer and even colder.

 

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Reader Comments (61)

Let them burn cake.

Nov 1, 2012 at 8:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Gotta love the idea of turning the thermostat down by "just one degree". Fascinating that they never, ever tell us what the correct temperature is.

If I had followed this advice every time I would be on about minus 5 Kelvin by now.

Nov 1, 2012 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Scottish Power is a Spanish company, and as we know from the Spanish Lesson, Spanish companies survive on massive subsidies which are corruptive and ultimately ruin the economy. Having crossed swords with them at a public inquiry (they flew hordes of lawyers and assorted hangers-on from Scotland to Devon every week), I know form first hand experience the tactics they use to keep their snouts deep in the subsidy trough. Where are the hundreds (or thousands is it?) of wind turbines littering the countryside shown in their propaganda leaflet?

Nov 1, 2012 at 8:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Philip B:: I have recently posted this map of turbines on the Lost Horizons comments. ( I enjoyed your appearance on the film- very well done)

"Look at this map of current and proposed turbines -and weep for our country."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/9645593/Interactive-map-every-wind-farm-site-in-the-UK.html

Nov 1, 2012 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

F**k [manners] me sideways with a bicycle! Did you guys and gals see this?

Congratulations, Penn State!
http://www.steynonline.com/5272/congratulations-penn-state

Nov 1, 2012 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry

John Silver: :)

Phillip: very interesting. Let's not forget Spain is going under with 54% youth unemployment. Our own 20% is bad enough. Somebody really needs to get a grip before we all drown together in EU-sponsored crypto-fascist corporatism. About time the UK set a real example. The vote last night (despite the hypocrisy of Miliband) may be another indication the bulldog is back.

Nov 1, 2012 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Harry: Nobody says 'bring it on' quite like Steyn. What a great ad from the National Review.

Nov 1, 2012 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Messenger:

Thanks for the link. Of course it only shows wind farms. We try to keep up-to-date maps of all wind farms plus wind turbines in Devon, but it is an impossible task with the huge number of applications coming forward every week. We have a huge database of all applications. It is truly frightening. The landscape is in danger of becoming an open windfarm landscape, ie wind turbines packed together in wind farms and individual wind turbines every mile or so in between. It is known as death of the countryside by a thousand cuts. Since the feed-in-tariff scheme came into operation I have been involved in over 100 applications.

Nov 1, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Welcome to Planet Government where a 34% increase in the price of energy is "the cost of schemes designed to ... help reduce the costs of keeping homes warm". Can I go back to my home planet now, please?

Nov 1, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered Commenteragn

PhillipB -
wonderful to watch your contribution on Lost Horizons.

31 Oct: WalesOnline: Graham Henry: Welsh campaigners welcome 'small step' in wind farm battle
Gareth Clubb, director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, said the comments showed the UK Government was in “absolute disarray” over its energy policy.
He said: “The UK Government appears to be paralysed by this issue. Ministers are saying one thing and another is saying another...
“The energy policy that the UK government seems to be looking at options that keep us hooked on gas for the forseeable future.
“That’s not only bad in terms of probably failing to meet climate change targets, but it is the technology of the past.”...
Dr Tony Whitehead, director of policy at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), said: “The large investment and long timescales involved in all types of energy generation need consistent, long-term energy policies.
“Short-term uncertainty around UK energy policy, as we have seen in the last couple of days, is very unhelpful and has the potential to result in increased prices for consumers and delay much-needed investment in all forms of energy infrastructure. It can also stop investment in new UK jobs.
“Uncertainty over policy toward one energy source implies uncertainty for all sources. Remarks about wind power also affect gas, nuclear and other investments.
“The UK has the world’s largest offshore wind industry and there is huge potential in terms of investment and future jobs. Several international companies planning investments in the UK recently wrote to the Energy Secretary expressing concern over the emergence of political risk in the UK which has traditionally been regarded as having a low risk for energy investment.”
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/10/31/welsh-campaigners-welcome-small-step-in-wind-farm-battle-91466-32141345/
(COMMENT BY JennyKeal: Gareth Clubb thinks we are using 'a technology of the past' with fossil fuel /nuclear power, but wind energy was abandoned almost 200 years ago in favour of a more reliable energy source, steam. So who is advocating 'a technology of the past'?)

Nov 1, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

I haven't seen that one before (obviously) but when I Iived in Scotland we regularly got these little billets doux from Scottish Power telling us that none of it was their fault (note that this chart doesn't put a figure on how much their share of the costs have increased) but urging us all to do more to save (and they would be only to pleased to help).
As I have said before (and I still think it's worth repeating, and I see I am with Jack Hughes on this) if I had followed official advice and turned my thermostat down "just one degree" every time a government campaign had asked me to I would have died of hypothermia years ago.
But since they keep trotting out this rubbish they must think the sheeple fall for it and I regret to say I think so as well!

PS I caught Pat's comment just after I posted.

That [gas]’s not only bad in terms of probably failing to meet climate change targets, but it is the technology of the past.”Gareth Clubb, director of Friends of the Earth Cymru
agn — when you go back to your planet would you like to take this moron with you?

Nov 1, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Do you mean "Ed never had a job, went from uni (PPE) to being a lacky for Ian Beith and then an MP Davey"?

Utterly useless.

Nov 1, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRB

This is very interesting in that Scottish Power is being open about the increases in costs due to government initiatives, and showing that they dwarf other increases in percentage terms. Somewhat off message? Are we starting to see a rebellion amongst the power companies? Somewhat overdue, but welcome nevertheless.

Nov 1, 2012 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid C

They show the %increase due to govt. schemes, but how much of the increase in transportation costs and wholesale energy costs are also due to govt. action. Most of the extra grid costs are probably down to connecting distant wind farms to where the energy will be used. The existing power lines for taking electricity to rural areas are not capable of coping with peak production from wind going the other way. And how much of the increase in energy costs are due to buying wind power instead of coal?

Nov 1, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

1 Nov: Western Morning News, Cornwall: Turbines are 'ugly, noisy and devalue our homes'
Mr Hayes' comments were initially welcomed in the Westcountry, which has been on the frontline of the debate over the controversial technology.
But hope turned to confusion as frantic efforts by the Lib Dem coalition partners attempted to stamp on his views. Caroline Harvey, secretary of the Two Moors Campaign which has been fighting applications for four wind farms just south of Exmoor National Park, said of Mr Hayes: "At last someone is speaking out.
"These things are still being foisted on local populations despite the express wishes of the Government."
She added: "All these things wouldn't be so bad if at the end of the day the turbines were going to do some good, but they won't.
"They harm the environment and they harm people living near them for absolutely no benefit whatsoever."...
Regen SW was set up to help develop the renewable energy industry in the region. Its chief executive Merlin Hyman said wind energy still had an important role to play in future although new projects were likely to be smaller and community led.
But he said Mr Hayes's comments were "irresponsible" and only served to undermine confidence in the wider renewables industry.
"The Tory party clearly feels it needs to play to its base," Mr Hyman said. "That is a very irresponsible way to behave in Government.
"We are looking at the future of energy and there are some very big decisions to make in terms of how we go forward.
"We are going to need private sector investment and those investors are going to need a clear, consistent Government policy."...
http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Turbines-ugly-noisy-devalue-homes/story-17208577-detail/story.html

Nov 1, 2012 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

1 Nov: Daily Mail: James Chapman: Coalition at war over wind farms: Cameron backs minister who heralded their demise - to fury of the Lib Dems
PM says it was time for a debate about future of technology
Lib Dems say they now want energy removed from John Hayes portfolio
The Coalition was in turmoil last night over the future of onshore wind power, as furious Liberal Democrats demanded the new Tory energy minister is stripped of responsibility for renewable energy...
‘John Hayes might wish that he has the final say on energy policy and that he’s in a single-party government – but he doesn’t and he’s not,’ said one source close to Mr Davey.
‘He seemed to be mapping out Tory plans for their election manifesto but he was not speaking for the Government. He did not deliver the speech because he was told it was not acceptable.’
Other sources said Mr Davey had told Downing Street that Mr Hayes should now be stripped of all responsibility for green energy.
A senior Tory source, however, said Mr Cameron was backing his minister.
Conservative business minister Michael Fallon also supported Mr Hayes, insisting local communities should have the right to decide whether they accept wind farms.
‘We’re not saying we absolutely have to have 4,000 onshore wind farms by a particular date. These things have to be determined locally,’ he said...
Trade body Renewable UK’s deputy chief executive, Maf Smith, said: ‘As the wind industry meets in Glasgow to celebrate the success of this industry, it comes as some surprise that the new minister has said one thing to us and another to the press.
‘We are on the eve of the publication of the energy bill, with huge investment decisions to be made that will lead to tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade.
‘If we are to see these jobs and investment realised confidence must be retained and that means consistency.’
But a No 10 spokesman said Mr Hayes’s views were compatible with policy...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2226051/Coalition-war-wind-farms-Cameron-backs-minister-heralded-demise--fury-Lib-Dems.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Nov 1, 2012 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

31 Oct: Eastern Daily Press: Martin George: Update: As ministers argue over wind farm policy, what do you think?
Poll: Do you think the minister is right and ‘enough is enough’ as far as wind turbines are concerned?
(66% say yes as i post this comment)
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/update_as_ministers_argue_over_wind_farm_policy_what_do_you_think_1_1676174

Nov 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

1 Nov: Yorkshire Post: Green jobs fear after Tory whips up wind farms row
But there are concerns the mixed messages are damaging investor confidence in the Humber, which aims to transform itself into a global centre for green energy industries, with plans including German manufacturing giant Siemens investing in a £210m turbine factory in Hull.
The deal has yet to be signed off, however, with Siemens among those investors raising concern over Government support.
Sam Pick, director of the Renewables Network, which represents 200 renewable energy companies along the Humber, said the comments “were playing politics with thousands of jobs in the region”.
He added: “They were so poorly expressed that they came across as an attack on the entire industry, rather than the specific target of onshore wind. The problem we have, certainly with this Government, is a total lack of clarity, which creates a loss of momentum. Siemens needs clarity from the Government –that’s really what is slowing things down.”...
Opponents of wind farms, including communities in East Yorkshire, one of the country’s prime locations for onshore wind, welcomed Mr Hayes’s intervention and renewed calls for a moratorium on future developments.
Campaigner David Hinde said: “Here we have an Energy Minster who has endorsed everything local groups and hundreds of local residents have been saying.”
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/green-jobs-fear-after-tory-whips-up-wind-farms-row-1-5081650

u tell em, caroline:

1 Nov: Guardian: Caroline Lucas: How can John Hayes have a future in the energy department?Cameron must confirm his support for renewables and do something about a minister who peddles anti-wind propaganda
Hayes's swivel-eyed exclamations that "enough is enough" – painting a frankly unrecognisable picture of windfarms spreading like wildfire through the countryside – represent the latest intervention in a co-ordinated campaign by an anti-renewables lobby with vested interests in propping up the declining fossil fuel industries...
But while Hayes and the Daily Telegraph would have you believe that the public is fighting tooth-and-nail against onshore wind, polls have indicated that the majority of people are in favour of wind energy.
A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times found that 69% of the public want the current level of wind increased or maintained...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/01/john-hayes-energy-wind-renewables

Nov 1, 2012 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Energy saving light bulbs? not in our house. They give poor light, take an age to reach maximum light levels, cost too much, do not last longer than conventional bulbs, and contain an environmental poison which requires by law special disposal procedures (or it would if we obeyed the law which no one does)
The EU closed down a cottage industry in the UK, the makers and repairers of mercury barometers, because they used 50Kg of mercury a year only to introduce the manufacture of CLB's which use 100's Kg of the same element.

Nov 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Messenger linked to a map of turbines in the UK.

From Australia I caution; make sure no clown throws a reverse switch from the power stations. You'd take off and we may then never see any of you ever again... except, perhaps, through a telescope...

Nov 1, 2012 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

agn wrote: 'Welcome to Planet Government where a 34% increase in the price of energy is "the cost of schemes designed to ... help reduce the costs of keeping homes warm". Can I go back to my home planet now, please?'

A warning. That 34% is the increase from the costs of such government schemes last year to the cost of schemes this year. So how much that affects the overall cost of energy depends on the absolute numbers.

It is *logically* possible for a scheme to take money from an energy company and use it to reduce an some individuals' costs at the expense of others. I'm not saying it is a good idea, but that's probably the sort of thing they mean.

It is also *logically* possible to make an energy company pay for insulation which has the effect of increasing the unit price of energy while decreasing the number of units sold so much that everyone saves money on net. That might be the sort of thing they mean, but I would not believe them.

Nov 1, 2012 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Fisher

I couldn't help noticing that all of the 'bring your bills down' advice above can be reduced to 'use less leccy'.

Which is simply parroting Govt policy and agenda rather than useful information

Nov 1, 2012 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

"Somebody really needs to get a grip before we all drown together in EU-sponsored crypto-fascist corporatism."

Nov 1, 2012 at 8:50 AM Richard Drake

Thank you, and kudos for using the correct words.

Nov 1, 2012 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Yep. We are in Orwellian times in all sorts of ways.

One being that "reducing electricity bills" means "increasing electricity bills" so that the excess winter deaths figures will be the highest ever. I cant say what I think about this because my comment will be deleted by mods. But at the least it is one of the biggest scandals of our modern age, that politicians are prepared to see tens of thousands die each winter. C***ts.

Nov 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRB

Chuckles
Like most people I am in favour of "using less leccy" if by that you mean not wasting the stuff but not at the expense of my comfort and safety.
To paraphrase an old saying: I have been cold and I have been warm and warm is better. Likewise I have been poor and somewhat less poor and somewhat less poor is preferable!
The trouble with our lords and masters is that they have never been poor or cold. The current generation of decision makers and opinion formers has never lived in a house without central heating where the frost patterns are on the inside of the bedroom window first thing in the morning, neither have enough of them had to worry which came first - pay day or an empty purse.
While those of us who did experience these things (and thought relatively little about them because we didn't know any better) know what fuel poverty is and understand the hard choices which many elderly and infirm (or simply poor) people are going to have make this winter they believe that everyone is like them, belt-tightening being unable to spend more than £500 on the kids' Christmas or complaining that the price of the new Apple tablet makes it a "bit dear" for a stocking filler.

Nov 1, 2012 at 3:42 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

How about having a national hang a politician day?

We vote for the least popular in terms of the taxes imposed.

Nov 1, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

How about having a National hang a politician day?

We vote for the least popular in terms of the taxes imposed.

Nov 1, 2012 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

@Mike J,
Agree completely.

Could I add that the WHOLE govt. policy, approach, pipe-dream or whatever we call it, is absolutely predicated on people using less electricity, a lot less electricity.

That way they can claim that the COST has not increased, just that the amount you get for your money has decreased drastically.

Nov 1, 2012 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

What is that 34% figure meant to be? The small print says "Average percentage based on our outlook for environmental and social obligations for the year commencing April 2012 as compared to the year commencing April 2011". They are surely not saying that electricity prices have or will have changed by 34+8+11% in 2012. But if they are saying that 34% of any change in prices that has occurred has been down to government, the three percentages should sum to 100.

John Marshall, when did you last try energy saving bulbs? My father has used them for decades in his house and it is true that early bulbs had some of the characteristics you claim; but modern bulbs don't. And because they last so long (yes they do), he still has many of the older bulbs...

Nov 1, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Come on, someone must know what it means. After all it is the subject of the thread and there have been plenty of comments. At a minimum, I'd imagine AM must know what it means, after all he used it to attack Ed Davey, "It does seem to show that Ed Davey is trying very hard to make those in fuel poverty even poorer and even colder."

Nov 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

The 34% is a 34% increase in the part of the bill due to government intiatives. Similarly the part due to wholesale prices has gone up 8%. They don't give a figure for their own costs. They are trying to show, and succeeding quite well, that the major rises in prices are not their direct costs, but those imposed by green initiatives. If they'd only point out that the grid upgrades are directly caused by wind investments then the picture would be almost complete - 'Green' energy is costing us all a packet, and you'll pay for it either by giving them lots more money, or freezing this winter, and cutting your usage back to bare minimum. (Last year I set our thermostats down 2 degrees as we couldn't face another enormous gas bill; I can't put it down any further, we're already wrapped in blankets watching the telly). God help the old and poor.

Nov 1, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

So let's see if I have this right. On a bill of £1000 a year, if government initiatives account for 10% (OFGEM figures) of the price (£100) and they increase by 34% then we add £34. If the wholesale price accounts for 54% of the price (£504) and it goes up by 8%, then we add £40.

In other words government initiatives added 3.4% to the price while wholesale price changes added 4%. Doesn't sound so alarming put that way, does it? So Scottish Power's leaflet is dishonest and AM's "It does seem to show that Ed Davey is trying very hard to make those in fuel poverty even poorer and even colder." is specious. I mean, if you were trying very hard to make things worse for people, would you restrict yourself to 3.4% ?

Nov 1, 2012 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

'Government initiatives' covers a whole lot more sins that than my digital waste container troll. Take yourself off to the DECC site and you can count them all.

People are going to die this winter because of the energy policies followed over the last twenty years. If Ed Davey carries on, then fuel poverty will increase from its already high levels.

"Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive Lucy McTernan said: "With one third of Scottish households unable to afford their fuel bills, and those bills still rising, this is an issue that cannot be ignored any longer." (2010)

The Bishop's line is fully justified and substantiated.

Nov 1, 2012 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Emotive stuff, but is it true? UK electricity prices don't look at all exceptional within Europe. Gas prices are also pretty uniform. So if there are more UK winter deaths it might have other causes. Poor housing stock is a likely one. Disconnected communities and families another. Poor nutrition another. AM's argument is specious.

Nov 2, 2012 at 2:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Bitty, stop trying to defend the indefensible. The fact that European energy prices are way too high does not justify the UK following suit.

My elderly aunt, who lives on a pension in The Netherlands, has the central heating in her flat set at 15C in winter. That's all she can afford, thanks to skyrocketing electricity prices. I may be softened up by living in Australia, but there is no question that it is uncomfortably cold, especially for an elderly person with mobility problems.

As social security payments there are pretty generous, I imagine that a lot of others in Europe and possibly in the UK are doing it even harder than that.

Nov 2, 2012 at 5:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

Poor housing stock?!

Count the number of chimney pots on a Victorian terrace house: four, two fireplaces up and two fireplaces down. The reason was affordable coal.

Look at the sixties introduction of the ring-main to domestic wiring. The reason was low cost electricity (remember the promise of nuclear) allowing electric radiant heaters in every room. The demise of the chimney.

The surge in fitting central heating that followed the introduction of North Sea gas. The end of the chimney.

The housing stock responds as the source of energy changes. In each case an improvement over the past. All that is gone with hand-wringers in charge of current energy supplies. We are not short of energy, just short of a sensible policy that allows it to be available and at an affordable cost. Changing the housing stock to fit current policy of unaffordable energy is just not possible in a time-scale that can match it. Regulation and taxes have us in a death spiral.

Nov 2, 2012 at 8:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Oddly, I don't see any wind turbines in the pretty pictures on Scottish Power's pamphlet, or any indication that they contribute significantly to the increased cost of our electricity..
And this is because...?

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

'Use energy-saving light bulbs.'
By all means - LED ones which last for ever, not those gloomy folded-up fluorescent ones, which contain mercury and will lead to future problems with contaminated ground water, because 99% of people will throw them in the dustbin, rather than using petrol taking them to the correct disposal bin at the local tip...
Cue that overworked section of government, the Department of Unintended Consequences...

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Johanna, electric central heating in Holland, are you sure? The Dutch are huge gas exporters and have been for decades (ever heard of Dutch Disease?).

Energy prices are indeed defensible. Fuel poverty is an issue of social policy, not energy policy. It is the well-off who use lots of energy who would benefit most from lower prices, not the poor. It is also the well-off who make most noise about the price.

Ssat, are you imagining some fairy tale past where everyone lived in toasty houses, wandering round in their nighties? Victorians believed in ventilation; they needed a coal fire in every room. Do you really think coal was so cheap that even the poor could heat their houses, 2 fires up and 2 down? Read some social history. Or just ask Mike Jackson who will tell you about frost on the inside of the glass and frozen lavatory pans (ok he's not Victorian, but he's close).

Ring mains and central heating are all very well, but if the the walls are thin and the windows leak and the loft is uninsulated, heating the house is going to cost. Modern regulations require these things to be hugely better than older houses but there are still millions of houses that are difficult to heat by design (all that ventilation, etc), and millions still lacking cavity filling or adequate roof insulation.

Nov 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

My heaven's Digital waste receptacle, you do go on. You can only insulate a property once, then what savings there are are made. Income stays level or drops, as has been the case for many many people, costs keep going up. Fuel costs go up faster. Result? More in fuel poverty. The data is absloutely clear - MORE THAN HALF the elderly in Scotland were in fuel poverty in 2010, that figure will only get worse.

Ed Davey is trying very hard to make those in fuel poverty even poorer and even colder.

Nov 2, 2012 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Bitty, you have reconfirmed your dubious status on this site by accusing me of lying about my aunt's circumstances.

As for 'fuel prices are a matter of social policy, not energy policy' - this fatuous and self-satisfied statement highlights the economic illiteracy which underpins Green philosophy. It is not the real cost that matters, it is just a matter of wealth redistribution, according to your lot.

Site policy prevents me from expressing what I really think of you and your smug, complacent fellow travellers.

Nov 2, 2012 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

Johanna, since when was asking, "are you sure?" an accusation of dishonesty? You and your friends have been accusing everyone else of lying for so long that you have lost touch with normal behaviour and language. My guess is that you are sensitive about your statements re- your aunt for some reason, hence your little outburst. I'd lie down for a bit (a few weeks perhaps).

Cumbrian Lad, yes maybe I do (go on). But then so do skeptics. AM makes a big deal of a 34% rise when as we have seen it is really a 3.4% rise. Instead of accepting that he has exaggerated the issue, you channel your frustration at your own bills (not helped by all those incandescent bulbs, no doubt) into attacking the government on "fuel poverty".

If you really want to mix social policy with energy policy and you really are more interested in the fuel-poor (who use little fuel anyway) than your own bills, why not campaign for a reversal of tarifs so that the first (say) 3KWh per day (or gas equivalent) are very cheap and the price rises thereafter (keeping the change neutral). Such a campaign would be more useful than bleating about things from the sidelines.

Nov 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Believe it or not, BB is kinda right. Poverty is poverty. If you have to choose where to spend your money, when fuel goes up you have to choose between heat and, say, marmalade. When marmalade goes up you have to choose between marmalade and fuel. Are you in fuel poverty or marmalade poverty? Neither, you are just poor. Unfortunately it can't be fixed by punishing rich folks, but that is for another forum, I suspect.

Anyhow, of course your fuel bill ought to be between you and your supplier because state interference does not work, especially when motivated by ideology and unproven theories.

Nov 2, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Avoiding the question again BB in the face of the data? Cost up, income flat, fuel costs up faster. = more in fuel poverty. Stop dodging and acknowledge the facts.

Nov 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

BitBucket

why not campaign for a reversal of tarifs?

Nov 2, 2012 at 5:43 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

BitBucket

Sorry, I'll try again:

Why not campaign for a reversal of tarifs? Because if the scheme is equitable it will need to be complicated and if it's simple it won't be equitable.

The French Assembly recently voted through a measure for the 'tarification progressive de l'energie'. This would have required householders to fill in a form with their tax returns stating the size of their house, how it was heated, how many people there were in the household, their ages, whether any of them had medical conditions requiring extra energy consumption etc. etc.

The Senate threw the Bill out with the Communist Senators refusing to support their Socialist allies.

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:16 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

'While the average UK household income has increased by 20pc from £32,812 in 2004 to £39,468 today, the average energy bill has risen by 140pc, according to uSwitch figures.
Households were spending an average of £522 a year for their energy in 2004, but now pay £1,252 a year'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/9273867/The-cost-of-energy-bills-soar-by-140pc-in-eight-years.html

Nov 2, 2012 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

This is the picture I shall be pinning to my bonfire "GUY" this year.

One Ignacio S. Galán
<----click to see the ugly fizzog
- Chief Cook and Bottlewasher to the rich and famous, blah blah.

Nov 3, 2012 at 1:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterScottish Power Gridlock

Dreadnought, why must it be complicated? And government need not be involved. Electricity companies already have tariffs. They can easily say, "your first 1000kWh/year cost 5p each; after that you'll pay Np per kWh".

Nov 3, 2012 at 3:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

rhoda
It's not simply a choice between marmalade and fuel.
There are households in the UK where the choice comes down —literally — to heat or eat, a problem I blogged about two years ago and which has got worse since. It's a choice between having a decent meal and turning your gas fire on — a choice which no civilised country should be requiring any of its citizens to make ever!
Chuckles has at last come up with some useful figures courtesy of the DT which show that energy bills have almost exactly doubled in real terms since 2004.
The source for the DT report is presumably this briefing paper — www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN04153.pdf — which is fairly heavy but worth reading. Bear in mind it is a parliamentary briefing paper so is likely to be telling MPs what DECC want them to hear.

[Sorry I can't embed the link for some reason: it tries to link to a page within this site that doesn't exist.
Anyone know what I might be doing wrong?]

Nov 3, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

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