Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Forecast: A Cold, Cold Winter

The Scottish Power announcement of a 19% rise in gas and a 10% rise in electricity must have stunned householders across the country yesterday.  It did me because I know my own supplier will follow suit. The knock-on effect of this rise will be felt by most of the population and we're told there are more rises to follow.

The video shows an interesting graph.  The utility companies blame rises in wholesale prices for the steep increases yet, if you observe the blue line, you will note that it's only very recently wholesale prices have risen.

Will the Westminster government take action against such a drastic increase in the cost of living?  Edward sent me a copy of a letter, published yesterday in his local paper, because he "thought others might appreciate the vision of our elected representatives.  There seems to be no trace of irony in it."

The article is reproduced accurately. It's timing is impeccable at least. The photograph is my idea. Apologies but I couldn't find one of Ms Latham in Cloud Cuckoo Land so the rolling hills of Derbyshire will have to suffice.

Derby Telegraph 6 June 2011


A DERBYSHIRE MP has praised campaigners for continuing to draw attantion to climate change issues.
Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham spoke at a rally organised by the Derby Climate Change Coalition.
It focused on a new bill going through Parliament designed to improve the supply of energy efficiency measures to homes and businesses and reduce carbon emissions across the county.
Conservative MP Mrs Latham said:”I am pleased I had the opportunity to talk about climate change and the positive steps the Energy Bill proposes.
Having championed green issues as the Mayor of Derby, I am glad the Climate Change Coalition continues to draw attention to this important issue.
Following the speeches and lively question and answer sessions at the rally I hope those who attended were reassured that the Energy Bill will kick start a dramatic change in Britain's energy policy by cutting carbon emissions and helping to lower household energy bills.”

Labour MP Chris Williamson, who represents Derby North, also spoke at the event, held at the Joseph Wright Centre in Derby.

He said that city firms could benefit from the bill and cited innovative work being carried out by Rolls Royce in civil nuclear fields.

Dozens of people attended the meetin and also listened to speeches by Paddy Tipping, the former MP for Sherwood and national vice president of the Ramblers' Association.

He wants to see a billion hectares of woodland planted in the UK over then next ten years.


Dick Puddlecote said...

I expect the population will rise in anger at the power companies and demand a return to nationalisation (which, funny enough, could mean more pricey energy due to inevitable inefficiencies and a lack of competitors). But very few will worry about increases brought on by EU policies such as forced scrapping of coal powered stations and an obligation to invest in expensive renewables, and taxation imposed by Osborne at the last budget.

We need more competition, not less, and it would help to have less interference from government and the EU, not more.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Dick if you think you can rely on the spivs and free market speculators to supply an efficient and equitable priced service you are at best naive and at worst one of them.

That said, I agree we need more competition and to that end I would propose we add another competitor to the cartel consisting of us, the consumers. And we give it effect by only paying 60% of the other fives energy bills.

There's a saying in the Bible - "In this world there are servants who ride horses while prince's walk."

It's time for the people to realise they are the horses the servants are riding on.

JRB said...

“… wants to see a billion hectares of woodland planted in the UK over then next ten years.”

Well - they are welcome to plant a tree above my cold stiff corpse.

I will have either died of hypothermia or of malnutrition.

On my pension I can no longer sustain both heating and eating, the time is fast coming when I must choose one or other.
Or, perhaps I should just buy a one-way ticket to Switzerland.

James Higham said...

The slugging of the UK population should be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry but I don't see any mooted in Parliament.

subrosa said...

We'll never have true competition Dick because government doesn't want it. Up here there are only a couple of companies which can supply and between those the saving is around £2-5 a month. I've juggled for years but it's not worth the hassle really.

The concern is the knock-on cost - rising food etc.

Demetrius said...

I have that distinct feeling that there is something going badly wrong here. Worse we may be about to find out soon.

SadButMadLad said...

I blame the greens. They want expensive green energy so the government implements this thing called ROCs. This means that energy companies have to pay windmill companies etc above market rates for their leccy. Who pays in the end? The consumer. Just the same way that the consume ends up paying for any tax imposed on business. And the same way that the tax payer pays for any goverment provided subsidy to quangos/NGO/charities/etc.

See here -

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Free markets - globalisation - capitalism, less responsibility = exploitation.

Woodsy42 said...

Much of the increase is down to deliberate government policy.
But notice Latham did not say fuel COSTS would be lower, he said BILLS. No doubt if you spend a fortune on insulation and live in the dark or cold it might be possible to get your bills lower. Politicians speak with a forked tongue, always examine the actual words and look for loopholes rather than hearing what you expect them to mean.

Joe Public said...

That prat George Osborne doesn't help.

He raised a supplementary tax on oil and gas production from 20% to 32% in order to raise £2bn to fund a cut in fuel duty.

Which made it uneconomic for Centrica to produce from Morcombe Bay field, so they mothballed it.

Now, instead of the chancellor getting 20% of something, he gets 32% of nothing.

1/2 a loaf is better than no bread at all.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Joe that's true, but he's also taking half a billion out of the pockets of the poor in Welfare cuts to pay for the bankers idiocy.

So they have less money to meet their bills which will mean less to spend within the general community.

Robbing the poor to prop up government incompetence and provide welfare for the rich gives a new meaning to where charity begins and ends.

Jo G said...

Something else we have that awful woman to thank for: the privatisation of the utilities.

I just wish the people really WOULD rise up over energy prices because for years now we have been held to ransom while their useless "Watchdogs" have sat by and done nothing for us.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jo - I think this present lot are making Thatcher look like a pussy cat.

But you'll appreciate how important it is for them to look after their portfolios and investments.

They've lots of dividends yet to leech out of the privatisation of the NHS.

petem130 said...

All of the price changes will impact on the inflation figures. Then the bank will com under increasing pressure from the markets (that's those who caused the mess in the first place) to increase interest rates.

Double dip recession. Try freefall recession. The majority of the greens are to blame along with the opportunist politicians.How many humans have the majority of the green movement killed? To the nearest few million? Now they are starting in on the old, vulnerable and poor. Shocking goes nowhere near it. they should hang their heads in shame.

subrosa said...

That would be an interesting scenario Crinkly.

subrosa said...

I don't know where the MSM gets their figures from JRB ie 'it will cost the average family an extra £174 a year' because this increase will cost me much more than that.

The cost of living will rise dramatically and as you say, will be too high for many.

Unfortunately I still know those who struggled the past couple of winters who refuse to apply for help. Think a little chat now would be warranted.

subrosa said...

It's certainly not going to get any better Demetrius. There's an anger around today.

subrosa said...

They have a lot to answer for SBML right enough. That link to the register is a good one. Do hope others read it too.

Brian said...

The UK energy industry has turned into an oligopoly. Parliament knew about this three years ago at least but nothing got done because everything can be solved with windmills and solar panels. Not. Smart meters will enable the energy sellers to minimize generating capacity and increase wholesale prices.
Are Cameron, Mitchell and Major proud that British pensioners will freeze in Winter because their winter fuel allowance is cut to boost international aid and take Britain to top of the 0.7% Club?

subrosa said...

If I moved to a one bed house then I could reduce my bills Woodsy, but I've no intention of moving until I want to do so.

subrosa said...

I didn't realise Morcambe Bay has been mothballed Joe. Hmmm.

Oxborne's nonsense has caused a great stir with the North Sea oil people. It will cost more than the gains in the medium term.

subrosa said...

Ofgem appears to be the worst of the lot Jo. What does it do other than generate PR to the MSM?

subrosa said...

They will have a serious impact petem and once that bites into the NHS, education etc we'll begin to see the results. It won't be a pleasant picture.

subrosa said...

Good link Brian and a far seeing article which has proved true.

V4V said...

Is this a government driven austerity private/public parnership to cull off some unproductive pensioners. Well, you wouldn't put it past them would you..


Anonymous said...

And this government cut the pensioners' winter fuel allowances by 25% and 33%, depending on age.

But next year they will be reducing the Housing Allowance, so that should solve the heating problem. Poor people won't be able to pay their rents and will be on the street. No electric or gas cost at all.

I've come to the conclusion that Mr Cameron's way of dealing with the aging crisis is just to kill off all old people as soon after they start collecting a pension as they can.

CRAP: You could be right. They are working hard at being worse than Thatcher.

Anonymous said...

Heating, lighting and all energy prices increase. All other basic living prices go up. what is left for the rest of the economy? What is left for the purchase of clothes, cars, furniture, etc? Or is their some subtle calculation that people will spend less on holidays, and such? Is so, what happens to the airlines and holiday firms?

Thus we come back again to the undue influence of 'special interest groups', in particular the global warmists, who themselves are costing us a fortune.

Get rid of the candy floss for a start! Clear out the greens, clear out the warmists, clear out the healthists and support proper scientists who can find the ways to provide cheap energy. Cheap energy is the key to our future wealth.

petem130 said...

"Get rid of the candy floss for a start! Clear out the greens, clear out the warmists, clear out the healthists and support proper scientists who can find the ways to provide cheap energy. Cheap energy is the key to our future wealth"

We already have means of producing cheap energy for hundreds of years. It's just the greenies won't allow it to be got out of the earth. They restrict chemicals which improve our lives and stop people from dying. They stop debate. They are anti-people apart from themselves and their creed.

Edward Spalton said...

In all modesty I must point out that an article of mine appeared last year on this distinguished blog, entitled "Wind Turbines Kill Pensioners". They do too for reasons which the previous correspondents have pointed out. Combined with the reduction of £50 in the pensioners' winter fuel allowance, it should reduce the bill for old age pensions quite substantially.

Yet if you consult that excellent blog

you will see that councils and authorities are continuing to add to expenditure by hiring extra, well paid staff to "combat climate change" - so government thinking is not entirely joined up on reducing the deficit.

subrosa said...

The elderly are being kicked from all sides Tris and I can see many will decided to give up their homes - the ones they've sacrificed much to keep - and move into boxes. Then they'll give up.

If I'm forced into that position then I'll drift around the country living in hotels until the money runs out. Wouldn't take long for that to happen, but at least I'll be warm and fed.

subrosa said...

It's cheap energy which has kept this country going Junican and it is the answer. However, politicians have to look after their friends these days.

I read somewhere about green charges on our bills being around £200 pa. We need far more transparency about these and I agree with you, stop it all. It's false economy and lines only the pockets of the few with little or no benefit to the masses.

subrosa said...

The greens aren't pushing their agenda forward so much at the moment are they petem? I think we know why. It's beginning to backfire on them.

subrosa said...

Edward you're far too complimentary and I did read Richard's piece about that. Shameful to say the least.

subrosa said...

RFB, good to see you. No I wouldn't put it past them. Time pensioners had a strong party of its own. If they did they would get access to the MSM or at least find someone willing to promote their cases.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

But Rosa the pensioners have got Age UK behind them - the silence from
whom is deafening. They have not put pressure on their political masters for the last ten years on whether the basic state pension is adequate.

Edward - joined up thinking from governments - is that not too much of an expectation.

Finally, wind turbines. Agree in principle with the dissenters regarding those onshore but winds offshore are to a great extent more reliable -but still consider tidal is the answer to base load.

petem130 said...

I've just had the latest Edinburgh Outlook council paper in. It is FULL of green rubbish. Absolutely FULL.

the greenies might be quieter but the politicians and the MSM still push it.

What will it take to get rid of this scam?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Joe Public nailed part of it, and no matter your envy politics, Philosopher, there is no doubt that much of the increase in bills is precisely because of interference from government. Who do you really think is demanding perfectly profitable power plants be closed down in favour of massively expensive new operations?

And Rosie, the reason competition is restricted is because state regulations make it virtually impossible. The justification for that can be argued about till the cows come home, but it's what is happening.

But let's all blame those evil capitalists who have given us the cheapest (in real terms) food, electricals, clothing, and just about any other consumer good you care to mention, instead, eh?

You know. All those industries where government can't really get too regulatory on their ass.

subrosa said...

Exactly Crinkly, they're in cahoots with government because their salaries are paid by taxpayers.

Sorry I can't respond about the differences in offshore and tidal, but my knowledge is very limited.

subrosa said...

I can imagine that petem, because the Scottish government offers councils all sorts of rewards for pushing green. Marvellous isn't it.

subrosa said...

Ah Dick I'm well out of touch about government relation on competition so that's interesting.

I don't blame them Dick. They're the folk who provide these jobs folk go on about wanting. Funny that.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Dick - "envy politics"?

Sorry, don't get that one.

Jo G said...

I'm sorry, nothing against "the elderly" but we are all being taken to the cleaners when it comes to domestic fuel and all of us should be working together. No one should be first. I am on my own. I live in a two bedroomed house. I have to heat it on one salary and things are just as tough here as for any group. I don't think singling out any one group helps all of us. We are ALL being taken for a ride.

Jo G said...

We ALL need to go to war with the energy companies.

Anonymous said...

Jo G

I'd just say three things about the elderly:

They are much more likely to feel the cold, so they use far more fuel;

They are not working, so often spend all day in the house, using fuel while we are out using our employers' fuel;

Most pensioners, although not all, live on quite small pensions. Your pension pot buys you very little these days. Even the average civil service pension (envied so much) is only £7,000. Add that to £5,000 pension and then take tax off it, and it is seriously little money.

Jo G said...

Tris, I say to you there are families struggling just as much. With equally little money. There are single households struggling too. What the energy companies are doing affects many groups, not just the elderly and all of those groups need to be defended. The elderly cannot take priority. Government must take on the energy companies on behalf of ALL, not just one group.

Jo G said...

The energy companies are screwing everyone, not just the elderly!

Anonymous said...

Jo G

I know that. It would be nice if the government would give us all £200, but I'm afraid that the only people who are gaining from this lot are the royals, the lords, the senior managers of FTSE100 companies and the bankers.
The rest of us are losers.
I know other people are hurting. I see it every day. But people who are old are less likely to be able to keep warm, and they are more likely to die. (30,000 deaths where cold was a contributing factor last year in the UK, most over 70) moist younger people can find a way to keep warm.
I don't need much heat, and I can go out for a walk or a run, or scrub the floor, run up and down the stairs. If you’re sitting in front of the tv all day and it takes you 5 minutes to get out of your seat, then you need the fire on.
Even if younger people get chilled they are much less likely to die.

subrosa said...

They are Jo and not only with these rises directly affect those who can least afford them, they'll affect the cost of living.

Small businesses who rely on utility may well do to the wall etc.

Politicians could do something. They could stop the hidden green taxes.

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