I will be on BBC Radio 5 Live at 10.30pm this evening debating this issue;
David Cameron has insisted energy firms will be compelled to give customers “the lowest tariff” as he sought to clear up confusion over energy policy. The exact details of how this will be achieved, in next month’s Energy Bill, have yet to be decided. But Downing Street claims consumer groups and energy firms SSE and EVO support the policy.
My view? Cameron is talking nonsense.
If you “compel” energy firms to provide “the lowest tariff” then you essentially remove the FUNDAMENTAL need to compete! It creates a price cartel with no incentive for any provider to seek to provide an even better deal! This is a wonderful instance of the law of unintended consequences. When the State intrudes on matters of free competition, it makes matter worse!
There is also the additional proposition that it is up to the Energy Consumer to shop around and find the tariff that suits them best, NOT for the State to try and impose it’s will!
It is said that about 10% of our energy costs have been put in place by Government pandering to the Green lobby. How about Cameron cuts THAT wasteful cost and saves us ALL money?
Labour’s opportunistic criticism of Cameron would carry more credibility if it has not presided over more than a decade of Energy companies complicating the tariff structure. Where was Caroline Flint when THAT was happening?
The bottom line is that when politicians seek to determine how much we pay for ANYTHING, we end up paying more. If they can tell you how much you will pay for energy, what next …food?