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« David Whitehouse on the CCC | Main | The CCC abandons science »

Spend to save

Ed Davey's statement on energy costs is getting a great deal of attention, and I think it's fair to say that nobody is impressed:

£286 green tax on energy bills: But ministers insist 'efficient appliances' will SAVE us money

  • Energy Secretary insisted households will be better off due to initiatives
  • But families will only benefit if they buy more efficient domestic appliances
  • Average bill is now £1,267 with £112 of that amount going on green taxes
  • By 2020 green taxes will have risen by over 150 per cent - £286 per family
  • DECC reckons households will be saving £452 a year then due to schemes
  • Charity said government 'embarrassed by terrifying cost of green policies'
  • Claimed it is 'covering up' with a 'whitewash of wildly optimistic assumptions'

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Reader Comments (77)

"Caroline Flint, Labour’s energy spokesman, said last night: ‘The Government’s underhand attempt to mask the real impact of its policies on families’ energy bills is shameful."

And who brought in the CCA Ms. Flint ?

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

It's the effects on the economy, industry and jobs that is just as worrying as the effects on people and fuel poverty:

The report also found that businesses that are medium-sized users of energy currently face energy costs that are on average 21% higher as a result of energy and climate change policies, with this figure rising to 22% by 2020.

Large energy-intensive users currently face energy costs that are on average between one and 14% higher as a result of policies, with this rising to between six and 36% by 2020.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Morph: And signed up to the EU Renewable Energy Directive and more.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I am probably right in thinking that the green taxes of £286 per household bill ignore the indirect costs which will be passed on to the consumer because of the green taxes imposed on businesses i.e. you will see far greater inflation in coming years because of green policies.

The net impact of green policies is far greater than will be visible via your houisehold energy bill.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Registered Commentermatthu

I caught part of an interview on Sky News. It was with one of the energy ministers: I did not catch his name. He was making very light of the fraction of our energy bills that was due to wind generation. However, he made no mention of the vast sums of money we taxpayers give to the wind and solar industries, just to keep them in business

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

I recent;y bought a new gas boiler for my 'small-family-sized' home. Including installation (direct replacement of old) the total cost was about £3750.

You need to save an awful amount of gas to make up £3750. In my case it'll take about 50 years. And I paid in today's money....not 2063's.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Too bad Disney didn't advertise they'd bought the UK and made it an extension of Fantasyland.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

This is the list of savings we are supposed to make

More efficient electrical items £158
Energy efficiency measures £133
Condensing boiler £81
Smart meter £40
Power stations £21
Warm home discount £15

But I’ve already got energy efficient appliances and the only reason I might have to change most of them in the next 15 years is because stuff doesn’t last very long any more. What about the energy and money lost during manufacture and disposal?

I’ve already got most energy efficient measures that would suit my circumstances. I could put in solar panel but I object to them on principle. The main improvement is loft insulation and 65% of households have already got it.

While not a condensing boiler, I’ve got an efficient boiler ad will only replace this one when it breaks beyond repair.

I’ve already got an energy meter and there’s nothing a smart meter will be able to tell me that would alter my habits.

I don’t mind paying for power stations but I hate paying for windmills or CCS or solar panels.

I’m not a pensioner so I don’t benefit from the Warm home discount and if I was, £15 wouldn’t be enough.

On top of the rising taxes on my own gas and electric there's the additions made to everthing I buy... except I'll probably buy imported stuff because it's cheaper, thereby putting somone British out of a job. On the plus side, unemployed people won't be able to use as much energy, so that's where the big CO2 savings will come from.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Now the cost is beginning to roll in, more and more articles are beginning to appear in MSM. Some of these (like the Rose article) question not simply the cost but also the science, or at least the certainty of the science. See the Daily Mail article on this post:

I question the so called savings, but everyone misses the simple point: namely, why can't we enjoy cheap energy AND have the claimed savings.

For example if modern energy efficient appliances will save us £158 pa, why can't we have that saving and cheap energy. We would then have even more money in our pocket. The same apples to better insulation. If that will save us £133pa, there is no reason why we could not enjoy that saving plus have the benefit of cheap energy.

A lot of these savings are exagerated. For example Cavity Wall insulation . The UK housing stocl is old. 60% of it is pre-war and nearly all of this is single brick to which there is no cavity for cavity wall insulation. 20% is post 1980 and this is already well insulated and cavity wall insulation would have little further benefit. There is only about 20% of UK housing (ie., that built between late 1930s and 1980) that may benefit from cavity wall insulation. Further, cavity wall insulation some times leads to damp problems since it bridges the air gap in the cavity. I will not go through each of the assumptions but there are serious issues with all of them not least the costs involved and the timescale required for payback.

But the bottom line is quite simple. The UK could have cheap energy. It sits on large coal reserves which could be economically mined. Electrity from UK sourced coal (Dax was sensibly built on a coal field) would greatly reduce energy costs. Shale gas also holds the promise for cheap electrity.

It is only political will that is forcing up energy prices. It is only political stubborness which is preventing the UK citizen from enjoying cheap energy.

The only aimn of the government (as far as energy is concerned) is to supply its citizens with the cheapest reliable and abundamnt energy that can be sourced.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Ahhh! Wonderful money saving "schemes"...

Remind me who is paying for these wonderous "schemes"?

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal use led to increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption. It's called the Jevons Paradox and it still holds good today, what tends to happen is you install an energy saving device then add some new light or gadget to make your life better and the saving has gone.
So the Government is deluded if they think that energy savings will get us out of this mess.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterForester126

Of course one of the tricks is that a few of these measures do make sense - even without any subsidy, loft insulation has a 'no-brainer' payback time, yet lots of people don't bother even though its free.

At the moment, most technical driven energy saving (like smart thermostats) are stupidly expensive - it seems the manufacturers are taking advantage of the only people interested in the market having more money than sense. Most people are rightly sceptical about the savings that these things can provide, I suppose smart meters might cause them to look more closely - but also discover that leaving things on standby doesn't cost much (except for my heat pump which draws 150W 24/7 to keep the compressor oil warm)

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSean Houlihane

I worked for a company that has left the UK shores because of fuel prices. It was a very sad and depressing time being an employee for a firm ripping itself to pieces as it tried to find the money for gas and electricity. Every time there were redundancies, people volunteered because it was a happier option than staying. The endless investment in energy saving that was done is now all pointless because the factories are demolished. The equipment however is not wasted as it has all be crated up and shipped to China where work will resume exactly the same way it was here. Since the company dwindled rather than shut over night, there was never the huge headline of thousands of jobs lost but over two decades over 20,000 jobs were lost.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Of course one of the tricks is that a few of these measures do make sense - even without any subsidy, loft insulation has a 'no-brainer' payback time, yet lots of people don't bother even though its free.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:46 AM Sean Houlihane

I agree it's a nobrainer but there will be people who genuinely can't afford it and I wonder what percentage of the uninsualted include rented properties. It's not the owner who pays the gas bill.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

What a disingenuous report.

You can save £166 (I love the precision), thanks to our genius energy policy, but only if you spend around £500, up front, to mitigate said policy's (unstated) shortcomings.

How daft to they think we are?

Well they certainly fooled the BBC- mind you so did Jimmy Savile.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I recent;y bought a new gas boiler... the total cost was about £3750.
You need to save an awful amount of gas to make up £3750. In my case it'll take about 50 years. And I paid in today's money....not 2063's.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Latimer Alder

You make a good point (that I briefly touched upon in my post). But one further factor is that modern appliances are often not as reliable as older less sophisticalted appliances. I have had 3 condensor boilers. One lasted less than 4 years before it repeatedly gave problems. Another lasted reasonably well for about 10 years. However, old boilers often last for more than 30 years with next to no problems. Further, the costs of repair of modern appliances is due to their sophistication often far more expensive compared to that of older products. So you have to factor in the increased maintenance costs.

mattu correctly observes: I am probably right in thinking that the green taxes of £286 per household bill ignore the indirect costs which will be passed on to the consumer because of the green taxes imposed on businesses i.e. you will see far greater inflation in coming years because of green policies.

The net impact of green policies is far greater than will be visible via your houisehold energy bill.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:22 AM | matthu

I am far from convinced that the government and UK energy suppliers are correctly informing the consumer as to what costs the consumer is already paying. I have a house in Spain. Iberdrolla is the energy supplier and I understand that it owns one of the UK energy firms. MySpannish bill contains a breakdow in which it says that the cost of supply is about 48% and the costs of tax and green subsidies is about 52%. Obviously VAT (in Spain IVA) forms some part of that 52% but only a small part. The cost per Kwh is only slightly higher than the UK, so if the Spannish cost of a Kwh consists of about 40% green subsidies I suspect that a very large percentage of the per Kwh charge and standing charge in the UK already contains the cost of green energy.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Why stop at 2020? Too embarrassing to go further? What they are at pains to conceal is that even if you comply with everything they ask, the carbon tax still goes on rising exponentially year on year for no further 'benefit' at all.

Mar 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

Comment from Greenpeace:

"This report demonstrates that green policies are not causing rocketing household bills and they will not do so in future. With the right investment, UK clean energy will only get cheaper. The same cannot be said of gas.", said Greenpeace Policy Director Doug Parr

Energy is certainly cheap if you can't actually get a supply when the wind falters.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered Commenteralleagra

The problem is that our political caste is stuffed full with people who have no technological or scientific background so accepted without demurring the false information the climate change indoctrination they received on induction into ****** Purpose or, as I prefer to call it, Scientology Lite.

However, an increasing number of people in this new elite are starting to think the unthinkable, which is that Climate Alchemy is just that. The present weather, exactly as expected for the start of the new Little Ice Age, a 179 year solar cycle convolved with the cooling ENSO, is also tremendously influential, as is the statistic that we'll have 30,000 extra deaths from cold this year. Politicians don't like being called callous killers of the pursue policies they imagine will get them re-elected.

The Germans are also having second thoughts:

'- The first snow fell in the flatlands already on October 26, 2012. For many regions, it was the earliest snowfall on record!

- Nature right now is 4 weeks behind schedule!

- In early March in Northern India an unusual cold spell in the state of Uttar Pradesh led to at least 100 people freezing to death!

- Record snow fell in Moscow – 80 cm!

- In Great Britain, thousands lost power in the relentless cold.

- Kiev, Ukraine saw the most severe snowfall in more than 100 years!'

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecm

Don't miss the link to the Daily Mail's article, given by the Bish.
Already, the comments here (and there) have notched up a good tally of nails, hit on head.
Hand up anyone who believed we are only spending £112 p.a. on Ed Daveylumps wet dreams?
Thought so, no-one.
Those who believe we'll only be spending £286 pa in 2020, not to mention the proffered 'saving' of £452 p.a., especially if you already live in a reasonably insulated house with modern appliances?
Hmm, no surprise there, then.
And obviously, if you are wanting to spend £18.4 Billion p.a. every year until 2050 (DECC's estimate on cost of Eddie Milipede's CCA2008), then £286 pa per family isn't going to sort it out.

But I'm interested in a detail in Booker's piece on this:-

"He [Davey] wanted to tell us just how committed his government is to cutting emissions of carbon dioxide from the 'costly, carbon-intense fossil fuels' we use for more than '80 per cent of the heating used in UK homes, businesses and industry'.

"And how does he propose to do this? He wants to spend £9 million to 'help local authorities get heat network schemes [designed to pipe heat to homes from a central source] up and running in towns and cities across the country'.

"He wants to hire yet more civil servants to set up a 'Heat Network Unit' to provide 'expert advice'. "

£9 Million to "get heat network schemes up and running"?????

£9 Million wouldn't pay for setting up a district heating scheme in one (new) village. It certainly wouldn't go anywhere near retrofitting a district heating scheme into one existing village, even if they were thinking about Cambleforth (literally in the shadow of nice wood chip burning Drax). Towns and cities across the country?

I know no-one ever went bust by underestimating the intelligence of the British Public.

But that's taking the p#ss.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Leo would like your views it seems

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Sorry to post yet again. Some have commented that loft insulation is a no brainer. I agree that it is the cheapest expense and one that can yield the most effective return. However, again the government exaggerates;

First, it has all but no role to play for those who live in blocks of flats.
Second, it has all but no role to play for those who have a downstairs flat in a converted terrace house (in London there is a lot of these properties).
Third, it is rare to see roof tops completely snow free, and this is because many houses have some form of loft insulation (may be 2 inches instead of 6 to 8 inches and this 2 inch layer performs say 70 to 80% of the effective insulation) or because people have 'rubbish' in their lofts. Most people use the loft space for storage; frequently in the loft space there are bags of old clothes, carpets, rugs, carboard boxes, books and the like. All this 'rubbish' acts as a reasonably effective insulator; after all homeless people often sleep under carboard or newspaper.

The upshot of the above is that a large percentage of households cannot benefit from loft insulation. Those that can will find that loft insulation is not as effective as the government assumes since the government assesses its savings on the basis that the loft space has no insulation whereas most loft space in the real world is partly insulated by the accumulated 'rubbish' that most people hoard in their lofts.

But as I said earlier, the government line of response is a con since there is no reason why we cannot have the energy savings suggested by the government AND cheap energy. The position does not have to be enjoy the saving AND expensive energy. The government response does not address the issues with needlessly expensive energy. It is seeking to divert attention from the underlying problem brought about by its failed energy programme.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

A NEW fridge/freezer, a NEW washing machine, a NEW dishwasher, a NEW dryer...if we go for energy-efficient we'll be off by £2,000, that is 200£ a year for ten years if they last that long. THEN WE WILL HAVE TO BUY THEM AGAIN. After having been conned of £860 at least for the same ten years.

Plus thousands of pounds for the GCH.

Methinks there is an AGW scam going on here but it ain't at UEA.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Unbelievable Caroline Flint, Labour's shadow energy and climate change secretary:

The government's underhand attempt to mask the real impact of its policies on families' energy bills is shameful. At a time when hard-pressed families and pensioners are seeing their incomes squeezed, only this out-of-touch government could expect people to fork out thousands of pounds on new TVs, fridge freezers and washing machines. Instead of cooking the books to trick people into thinking their energy bills will be lower, ministers should get behind Labour's plans to overhaul the energy market and deliver fair prices for the public.


Mar 27, 2013 at 11:21 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Government is a transfer agency...

I'll bet the LibLabCon party funders are on the other side of the deal, rent-seeking as usual.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterAC1


"And I paid in today's money....not 2063's"

Bet you need to replace it before then! I know old Potterton boilers can last that long, but the new ones are far less durable.

And, Mr Davey, if you've already got all the gadgets, how can you reduce your consumption except by sitting in the dark? But I see, you've already arranged that...

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:34 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

It would be interesting to know who the DECC-heads were who wrote the report for Ed Davey. But we'll never know as they hide behing anonymity.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

DECC reckons households will be saving £452 a year then due to schemes

Is DECC run by Derek Trotter?

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Great new saving scheme: Mr Ed 'Potato Head' Davey today revealed a new way forward in the economical use of shoes. 'Utilising the world-class faclities in our wonderful NHS hospitals, legs can quickly and efficiently removed. While large savings can be maded with the removal of one leg, our modelled projections indicate a greater saving can be made if both legs are taken off at the same time. The days of wasteful shoe use are over.'

Is it me or have they all gone stark staring mad?

We can't go on like this.


Mar 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

District heating? So we will be relying on the Council for heat? And it will be more efficient?

This is a sick joke.

Isn't is remarkable that the solutions to the climate change "problem" are all public - public transport, public housing, public heating etc etc. All things that the proponents of CAGW happen to believe strongly in for ideological reasons.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterNW

The evidence is clear and the observations of many years must by now be considered to reflect settled science: that is, what they are up to has nothing whatever to do with improving or conserving the environment. Green measures are nothing but incipient totalitarian socialism. This conclusion is easy to remember because it has been the colour of envy since time immemorial (smiley). As has been stated many times, it is really a political revolution that they are trying to bring about. It is not science. We must not be distracted by the science.

The aspect of socialism that is worse than all the other objections to it that one might have is that it forbids choice. It denies free will. Everything has to be decided for us by others, for our own good, of course, in their opinion, not ours. However some of us seem to be immune to the subliminal brain washing. Are we criminal or are we sick? Dissent is deemed by those in power to be illogically deviant and must either be punished severely (That’ll learn ’em!) or cured with appropriate medical procedures as practiced in established totalitarian countries.

The only way to arrive at the most efficient pricing is to ensure a freely competitive market but more importantly to keep government away from it completely. It is not the function of government to manipulate prices and even if, perhaps to protect domestic jobs, it were desirable for society to guide the market gently (which hardly anybody wants at present) the faceless officials that we have in government would be particularly unqualified to do it.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Well

morph, Leo Hickman just posted up my tweet accusing DECC of "Remarkable dishonesty" at the Guardian. Gulp.

Mar 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

"Well they certainly fooled the BBC- mind you so did Jimmy Savile."

No he didn't - as per R4 Today interview yesterday, they were all in the know but tolerated it just the same.

The parallel still holds though - only when exposed elsewhere will the BEEB be forced to look again.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Governments are too big in useless areas, too small in useful areas, are run by people who generally think the same way, confuse 'taxing' with 'investing' and are led by people who seldom have significant experience in anything outside of government. This is happening worldwide and the results are very similar worldwide.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

I would advise all of you to write to your MPs.

The trouble is if they are all like the Muffin I have to deal with, hell will freeze over before you get answers. I wrote (snail-mail) over a month ago and e-mailed a follow-up 10 days ago.

So far? ZILCH!

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

I wrote to my MP on related issues a fortnight ago. Nice to know the newspapers and some politicians (see similar report n the Telegraph) are catching up:

"A recent response from DECC prompted a look at Smart Meters. They've been mentioned in passing on TV and radio, generally in an uncomplimentary manner.

I've not seen any official publication or pronouncement on the subject, so was very surprised, when I started looking, to see how far the project has got. I've written a few notes, attached, but here are the headlines:

Smart metering is well advanced, in spite of no universal publicity;
It'll cost £11billion;
It's claimed the benefits arising will be £16billion, therefore there'll be a net benefit (shared);
Implementation starts 2014, completion by 2019;
The fuel poor and certain other groups are unlikely to be beneficiaries;
The power companies and National Grid should see significant benefits and savings.

Personally, I'm very interested in getting these new meters, even though savings will be limited, as I already have an energy monitor and use it to manage my utilities. To be any better off, I'd have to discard existing and perfectly adequate household white goods and replace them with new equipment (if it's available yet) capable of communicating with the new metering systems - hardly economic.

It's possible I've misread the DECC output, of course.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan_UK

Ed Davey urinates on your head and tells you it's raining.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Investigative journalism 40 years too late:

Could fit with climate cycles I suppose.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Smart meters, those horrible devices that'll turn off you're power if your a pleb to ensure that the well off don't suffer any power cuts.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJaceF

What Planet is Davey on ? How does he think us pensioners are going to pay for all this insulation and new efficient devices. I do not have any dept and I want it to stay that way. It is all based on projections in which I for one have little faith. As for "Smart Meters" expensive nonsense. All the pensioners I know know exactly how much their energy cost. To some it will cost their lives.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea


To illustrate the future our betters envisage have a look at this pdf: The Future of Heating: Meeting The Challenge

Specifically the charts that begin on page 13. By 2050 they expect domestic heating demands to be met with heat pumps, district heating and 'efficiency'. For non-domestic heating it is much the same but without an 'efficiency' component.

I haven't read the document closely yet.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Are you sure the energy savings calculations weren't done by UEA??

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

The building research establishment carried out some research on the payback time of energy saving measures in the home.
By replacing single with double glazed windows the payback period is..................................

97 years.

Look here and read page seven:

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I posted this at Douglas Carswell's site recently

"Douglas at the risk of being a bore the economy is held back by artificially expensive energy. Until somebody gets rid of the eco loons from the DECC the country will continue to be FUBAR. Just imagine what a boost it would be to the economy if we stopped all the renewable nonsense and started to produce cheap energy again. It really is that simple."

If we bloggers are to have any effect we need to get to those politicians who are on side and get them to ask the obvious questions of Mr PotatoEd and the questions and answers need to be in the public domain.

John Redwood has written a letter to John Hayes - see - but it really misses a lot of points, not least of which is that John Hayes is a junior minister and Mr PotatoEd calls the shots.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

I want a simple contract with my power supplier which says if they fail to provide power I get a rebate. That's fair, isn't it? I don't want any outsider making moral judgments about how I use the power I buy.

Any supplier put in a monopoly or quasi-monopoly position re access to the market should have the duty to provide an agreed amount of power, base and demand, and should be allowed to get on with it subject to normal rules about safety and harm to others. They should not have to buy power from any source which they don't want to.

Anybody who wants insulation or a smart meter or whatever can have it, just don't charge me.

Anybody who can make wind or solar or anything work, good luck, just don't expect a subsidy.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

In my opinion , Ed Davey sounds like a snake - oil salesman .

Even more , he looks like one , too .

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBill Sikes' Dog

This video by Canadian economist Dr.Ross Mckitrick should be required viewing by all politicians and senior civil servants:!
Many MPs with PPE degrees supposedly understand the 'E', economics, but its essential message must have passed them by.

An abundance and low cost of electricity has hugely accelerated human progress. If we limit the supply of energy or make it more expensive then economic growth will slow down or in our case decrease substantially.

The pricing mechanism of free market production is the most efficient way of allocating resources, whereas a state controlled market is inevitably inefficient and costly. Why would you make energy less abundant, more expensive or less reliable? Why would you want to financially cripple our industries? Why would you want to impoverish us?

DECC indecision and interference in the energy market has paralysed the suppliers causing serious investment delays and inappropriate choices. Free our energy suppliers from DECC/EU market rigging and control, if the UK is not to slide into a very steep decline. Let price decide whether suppliers use coal, gas, oil, nuclear or renewables. Cancel all subsidies and carbon taxes. Nothing is more important.

Perhaps another Canadian should be employed by government to save us!

Mar 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterEForster

I thought Huhne was bad but really this takes the biscuit for utter stupidity. Davey is not fit for purpose.

Mar 27, 2013 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

richard verney
The traditional CH boiler, as a plumber friend of mine put it, is a cast-iron kettle. What's to go wrong?
The new condensing computerised affairs — sold to the government on the back of some statistics that climate science would have been proud of (compare the best efficiency figure for your product with the worst for the old-fashioned out-of-date who-would-want-one-of-those boilers that actually worked!) — are simply less reliable and the increased efficiency in practical operation is illusory.
We have one here in France. In the last three years I have called the service engineers at least half-a-dozen times (in addition to the annual service) for a variety of faults that have left us either without hot water or without heating and in one case both for the the best part of a week while they sent to Paris for a spare part.
The engineer's comment is the same as my friend's only being French it's expressed in the traditional shrug and the weary "that's progress for you, M'sieur."
Fortunately for my annual fee I get most call-outs free but parts and labour are chargeable and if you add that to the cost of heating (which I would argue is a quite legitimate part of the calculation) then it simply makes the figures look even worse!

Mar 27, 2013 at 1:17 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

In 2003 the median consumption for UK households was 20,500kWh of Gas and 3,300kWh of electricity.

Since then there have been numerous energy saving schemes encompassing everything from banning incandescent bulbs to extra insulation in the loft and cavity wall insulation. I even got a free 6 way power adapter that switched the power off to 4 of the sockets when I switched the TV off.

In 2010 they recalculated these figures and found that Gas usage had decreased by about 20% to 16,500 kWh. However, electricity usage remained exactly the same at 3,300kWh.

Despite all of the governments efforts, electricity usage shows no sign of decreasing so what makes them think it will decrease in the future?


Mar 27, 2013 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

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