Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Energy Companies Conning Us All

It is always nice to see those who will let people die as long as they make a profit being held to account and its the turn of the big six energy suppliers who are in front of a Commons Committee justifying the latest round of price increases.
The usual reasons have been trotted out with the wholesale price and green levies as the two common reasons that they have been forced to add an average 9.1% to the price of their customers fuel bills.  
The Wholesale price argument quickly fell over as industry regulator Ofgem showed that wholesale prices have risen by 1.7%  which should add just £10 to the average household bill.
Then there are the 'green levies' which have become the latest justification and which the Government are looking into scrapping. 
The Green Levy is 5% (£33 on the average £1,255 bill) of which 2% goes towards renewable sources with the rest being used on installing better utility meters, loans for insulation and replacing boilers of those in fuel poverty and the Warm Home Discount which is paid directly to vulnerable and low income households.
As the fuel companies don't see the 5% green tax anyway, losing these won't effect their profits but will bring a screeching halt to renewable energy and removing the little help that those already suffering in fuel poverty receive, no wonder they are keen on it, a way to look good by reducing their customers bills which doesn't touch their profit margin.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, the managing director of small, green energy firm Ovo Energy, said he was confused by the big energy firms justification for the hefty price rises, saying that he felt that the firms were 'simply charging the maximum price they feel they can get away' and he has it spot on.
The prices are high, because the energy companies put them up knowing customers have little choice, they have to pay it and by acting in unison, the big six know that the vast majority of customers won't switch because who is there to switch to if all of them put their price up together?   
The focus should be on the ridiculous profits the energy companies seem to be making and that is where cuts should be coming from, although that obviously won't please the shareholders.
Coming from a Prime Minister, with three former energy executives acting as advisors, who advice to keep down fuel bills was 'to put on a jumper', not much help coming from that direction so if Labour want to make sure of taking the next election, they should go along with the 80% of the population who support nationalising the fuel industry in this country.

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