16 2 mins 10 yrs

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?

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16 thoughts on “ENERGY

  1. I will be on BBC Radio 5 Live at 10.30pm this evening

    Have you kept track of how many times you have appeared on BBC shows?

  2. I agree with the main point, this is blatant populism by Cameron.

    But the renewables levy has helped to increase renewables from 2% to 7% of total electricity and that will increase to 20% within 10 years. That’s 20% that we won’t be relying on Putin for.

  3. Peter 931

    Huge point.

    Energy security is an important thing. One of the many things ( environmental factors of course being another ) that a strictly ” market ” or ” price ” analysis will lead one to miss entirely.

  4. Right.

    So government increases our energy costs, to cover the land in useless, bird-killing windmills which won’t move an inch when the lights go out in 2015, but which fill the pockets of crony-ecologists, land owners, special interests and Tim Yeo, then tells energy firms to put us on the loiwest tariff, thereby incentivising them to raise the lowest tariffs.

    You really couldn’t make it up. What a bunch of loons and cranks.

    But the renewables levy has helped to increase renewables from 2% to 7% ..

    Because it’s corrupt! The “levy” (i.e. the forced transfer of £billions from the working man to wealthy land owners and industrialists) is all that keeps the renewables boondoggle from collapsing.

  5. Does it help or hurt your energy security?

    Russia has cut off customers before, as has OPEC of course….

  6. It harms our energy security.

    We get little gas from Russia in any case, and relying on vastly expensive and inefficient sources which haven’t a hope of supplying energy without impoverishing us while despoiling the country is hardly upping security. Here we go:

    A £3bn wind farm off the south coast would provide about 1,000 temporary jobs and 100 permanent posts, it is claimed

    Great, a drop of energy at £100million per job. Only in government and the feeble mind of an eco-loon does that make any sense.

  7. If there is a major Middle East war — no impossibility — which causes major increases in the price of all energy, you might be happy to have a source of energy controlled by you, at a fixed cost.

    I’m not really crazy about windmills either, btw.

  8. Pete Moore

    Your ignorance on renewable energy is clearly learnt from the Daily Mail, no better teacher could be hoped for.

  9. Phantom-

    Only a commie would think fixed-cost energy is in any way beneficial.

    Peter –

    But you’re not disagreeing. Come on, own up: you jumped onto the renewables argument for cultural reasons (‘cos people like you are good environmentalists and we should do what’s expected of our kind), but you see now you were wrong.

  10. The current mish mash that is our energy industry, governed, managed and manipulated largely by a group of foreign companies that most definitely do not have the welfare of customers as a priority, is proof enough that not all things are best managed by the ‘private sector’.

    The security and continuity of supply has been forfeited for some philosophical ideal which has failed entirely to consider factors other than profit.

    Properly run, something so basic to our infrastructure and quality of life, must surely be under a system of non-political government control. It was once, and provided an affordable and reliable service, but unfortunately, it proved too tempting for our inept politicians to keep their greedy little mitts off…

    I wonder if the ‘wind farm’ scam would have got so far if it had been perused in the first place by experts rather than by politicians.

  11. Pete

    What is your philosophy as respects energy security? Or even food security?

    Is the ” science settled ” on these things, that the market has solved all issues?

  12. Phantom –

    Free markets never solve all issues. No free marketeer would say so.

    I don’t have a philosophy of energy or food security beyond leaving civil society free to arrive at many solutions, which it would do. A country of 65 million people (or 320 million in your case) cannot possibly be crowbarred into one statist solution for anything.

    If you want a “philosophy” (which my anti-philosophy, if you like, would deliver anyway), is that security in energy and food is best guaranteed by a spread of sources from home and abroad.

    Some people often claim that “food security” is producing all the food you need at home. But what then if a blight wipes out most of your crops? You’re fucked, that’s what. In food and energy, as with all commodities, we need to leave markets alone to deliver its myriad ways of providing.

    And yes, if certain events mean that prices rise then we want to welcome rising prices, because that’s the signal for producers to get in there and drop them. We don’t want a fixed anything.

  13. DV –

    Well said.

    Given that you and Eamonn Butler ended up on air at the same time, someone at the BBC will be punished severely. I don’t think I’ve ever heard two free marketeers on the BBC at the same time before.

  14. Its not either / or

    You should never seek total self reliance in food, for the reason you give, and others.

    But there is room for food security while still being big players in the free market.

    There can come a day of war when trade stops. If you’ve been used to getting all your food from America or Australia, that would not be a good day.

    Same for a country that wants to be able to defend itself. The cheapest option would be to buy your ships from say China, and someday your jet fighters. But that would be an astonishingly poor move for you.

    The market is always a factor, but sometimes it should be well down the list.

  15. I stayed up especially to listen to you David.
    I thought your points were well made, and without being OBSEQUIOUS or an ARSE LICKER, I think it’s great that you are getting a wider audience. ALL of us have the opportunity to make a difference in society, and you are to be applauded for daring to step up and do just that.

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