The news agenda is moving so fast on energy costs I cannot keep up!
A number of things have happened in the last few days. We have had some terrible winter death figures from last winter for the whole of the UK which suggests, people are making the choice to eat rather than heat with fatal consequences. In actual fact the Guardian has done some historical analysis here and the trend is still downwards at least for England and Wales. Interestingly there is no correlation with fuel poverty either or the average winter temperature which is falling (and no this does not mean climate change has stopped). Nevertheless the 29% increase was worrying and it will be very interesting to see next years figures after a winter with this years energy costs increasing yet again. It seems unlikely that they will be better.
The government are casting around desperately for ideas to reduce bills and the rumour doing the rounds is that they have asked the energy companies for a price freeze until after the next election whilst they negotiate about cutting the energy company obligation (ECO) off bills. Sound familiar? The rumour is that the ECO will be cut in half which is outrageous. The big six are making a hash of delivering it as it is. I’m just about OK about moving it to general taxation but cutting improvements to the nation’s energy efficiency in the long term is going to cost us all more. This is the ultimate in short sighted decisions and makes you wonder whether there is much that the lib dems will stop their Tory coalition partners doing?
Finally, another idea that the government is hoping will bring down energy costs (in the long term) has been torn to bits today. Lord Browne former CEO of BP has made a statement today saying that fracking will do no such thing (and he’s involved in it!).
None of the politicians understand the crisis we are in and until they do the policies they come up with will be nothing more than a sticking plaster over a gaping wound. For some solutions see this post.