Getting energised about energy

Barely a day goes by without the media (particularly the BBC with its desire to air Labour’s current favourite topics) focusing attention on something we are all very acutely aware of, namely energy prices.

In recent days we have had Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) lead off the regular cycle of price rise announcements with an 8.2% hike on gas and electricity bills.  The political response was all too predictable.  Labour – the party which, with Ed Miliband as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, wilfully took ‘green’ measures in the 2008 Climate Change Act it knew and admitted would drive prices upwards and increase the cost of living – described the rise as scandalous.

As an example of rank hypocrisy, this is head and shoulders beyond anything we’ve seen in a long time.

Meanwhile the Tories maintained their mind-numbingly stupid refrain that the energy sector needs more competition and that people can save money if they shop around.  This is patent bollocks.  I have used every available price comparison website and I’ve checked for every available deal based on the energy my household uses.  I am on a tariff that expires in 2014, but which is cheaper than any tariff or fixed deal currently available on the market from any energy provider.

When my current deal expires I will have to pay more for my energy.   All I can do is limit the increase to the smallest amount possible, which will be well over an additional £100 per year.   And my provider is yet to increase prices this winter, so the amount will be even more.

My only option to avoid paying more for my energy is to use less.  And that is exactly what the government’s energy policy is designed to achieve, to force everyone to use less by driving up the prices.  This goes to the heart of the sustainability mantra.  This is based in the enviro-belief that humans are a plague on the planet and must use fewer resources.  They resent the idea of technology being used to provide abundant energy that is affordable for most people.  They want people to have a difficult existence.  Richard explained this on EU Referendum this week when he wrote:

Never properly explained, though, is that the price increases are the result of deliberate government polity, using the price mechanism to reduce demand and thereby enable successive governments to meet self-imposed targets for “decarbonisation”.

Where the politicians have been caught out is in listening to Green propaganda, offering the fools’ paradise of increased energy efficiency, though more efficient appliances and insulation, without realising that low-income families are quite unable to offset increased costs in this manner, making fuel poverty the problem of our times – and again one which was entirely predictable.

What was interesting to note last week was SSE echoing what is becoming an industry-wide mantra that government ‘green’ levies are responsible for a substantial proportion of the price increases people have been and will continue to experience and struggle with.  They have made clear that while wholesale energy costs have gone up by about 4% in the past year, the cost of government-imposed levies on energy bills has increased by three times as much – 13%, and will continue to rise due to the cost of connecting useless wind farms to the energy grid, where they can provide a fraction of their potential and far less than the equivalent of nuclear or conventional installed capacity.

Today, Christopher Booker reminds us of more mind numbing Tory stupidity from the fool Michael Fallon:

While SSE called for a curb on these green levies – such as the crazy “carbon tax”, designed eventually to double the cost of electricity from fossil fuels, which still supply 70 per cent of our needs – the only official response was a fatuous call from our energy minister, Michael Fallon, for consumers to boycott SSE. Mr Fallon was oblivious to the fact that his Government’s policies will soon force all other energy companies to follow suit.

Just as the government and the media  twist themselves into contortions to hide the fact the Royal Mail privatisation has only happened because the EU said it must, the government and the media are twisting themselves into contortions to attack the power companies and conceal from the public the fact that rising energy bills are largely due to government policy; which is taking our money to pour into unjustified subsidies for wind turbines and lavish payments for wealthy landowners to have them on their land.  And all this despite the evident inefficiencies and failings of turbines as a source of energy generation.

People can be forgiven for being sick and tired of energy price rises, but they need to be aware of where the upward price pressures are coming from – and the majority of it is from the hypocritical, deceitful and delusional morons that infest the corridors of Whitehall, taking their orders from Little Europe, which has taken its orders from the global power brokers most of us have never heard of.

13 Responses to “Getting energised about energy”

  1. 1 1957chev 14/10/2013 at 12:19 am

    If there is any way possible for you to do so….minimize you dependency on the grid. Become self-sufficient, as much as possible. We can no longer trust that the government is working in our best interests, and that we will be provided for.

  2. 2 1957chev 14/10/2013 at 12:20 am

    Reblogged this on Mothers Against Wind Turbines and commented:
    We can’t depend on the government to look after us!

  3. 3 cornwallwindwatch 14/10/2013 at 9:42 am

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch and commented:
    The publicity can’t be bad but why or why has it taken so long for people to realise that it’s going to cost more to have 2 generators, one for fancy and one to rely on when the weather changes on a whim. we’re getting there….slowly!

  4. 4 fake 14/10/2013 at 10:57 am

    This is all one sided.

    When insulation was being sold as little as £1 a roll over a year ago (it’s now £20), people still didn’t take up the offer, something like 30% of loft spaces have little to no insulation.

    Now sure you can point to some fringe cases, but most people could afford to take up the offer, didnt, piss away loads of money going through the roof.

    We increased energy prices, and gave people plenty of almost free options to insulate and reduce their demand.

    There are flaws in this plan, but it’s not totally insane, better than many people acting like luddites, mainly old people who seem to have funny ideas about insulation “oh but the loft shouldn’t be cold”, or just generally can’t be arsed.

  5. 5 Dave_G 14/10/2013 at 8:10 pm

    @fake – when my loft is filled, the walls are doubly covered, the underfloor is insulated, all the lamps are energy-efficient (but take twice as long to come to a level I can use), all windows are double-glazed, my heating is turned to its minimum (barely-comfortable) level and all my appliances are A-rated what do I do next? Eat only cold food? I’ve cut my consumption by 40% to see the prices RISE by 40%. I’m no better off yet I’ve spent £1,000’s getting here…….
    THIS IS FRAUD – on a scale never before seen in society – a fraud built on a LIE (AGW) and propagated by influential protagonists who have vested interests. No, it’s not ‘just’ a fraud – this is THEFT.

  6. 6 fake 15/10/2013 at 9:49 am

    Well, when you loft is filled, the walls insulated and the floor, you’ll be in that 10-20% that have done so.

    ***I’m no better off yet I’ve spent £1,000′s getting here…….***

    Yet even when there where grants that practically gave this stuff away, no one took up the offer.

    *** all the lamps are energy-efficient (but take twice as long to come to a level I can use)***

    Buy LED lights then, prices on ebay are now cheap cheap cheap, you can get some as good as a 100w bulb if you shop around.

    You’re a typical hyperbolic luddite, sure the government made some **significant** fuck ups, but 30% of our housing stock is practically uninsulated, the rest poorly insulated, FFS can’t we move away from the 1950s?

  7. 7 qed 15/10/2013 at 6:45 pm

    From Which?:

    “Rising energy prices are consistently one of our biggest worries, but many don’t switch because the market’s too complicated. And our latest research shows a huge variation in standing charges….

    “We looked at the range of gas, electricity and dual fuel deals on offer for one customer – we found 109 different tariffs including some 75 different standing charges!

    “And if you think that’s mind-blowing, then factor in all the different regional variations, types of meter, payment methods and so on and you’ll find thousands and thousands of different prices across the country….

    “This bewildering array of charges is yet another example of how the energy market’s too confusing for us to find the best deal. That’s why we’re calling for simple tariffs, without standing charges, displayed in the style of petrol forecourt prices.”

    In December 2012 Which? published a report about the imbalance of power in the energy market. It is part of a campaign to enable consumers to obtain affordable energy.

    In the Executive Summary Which? explains the difficulties consumers face when seeking the best price:

    “It is vital that a critical mass of consumers successfully switches – or at least, threatens to switch – to (get) a genuinely better deal if energy prices are to be kept in check. Yet the regulator’s own research shows that the vast majority – up to 90% – do not engage with the market.

    “The limited competition that does exist is played out in a small segment of the market – made up of as few as 5 to 10% of all consumers – where the six major suppliers and a few of the new entrants vie for the most determined, engaged and usually more affluent consumers with attractive fixed-term deals. In effect, the energy ‘market’ is an oligopoly of six, large, vertically-integrated suppliers that do not face genuine competition for the vast majority of their customers.

    “In theory, competition could work effectively in energy. The products are homogenous and price is the only point of difference that matters to most people. Unfortunately, for too long policymakers seem to have subscribed to the belief that consumers will do whatever is required to find out price information, no matter how complex and time-consuming the task.

    “As a result, market conditions have been allowed to emerge that make it almost impossible for consumers to see and understand the price they are currently paying or that competitors would charge them. With price obfuscation endemic, there is no chance that consumers can successfully play their allocated role as the engine of competition.”

    Click to access which-report-the-imbalance-of-power-pdf-324966.pdf

    Which? is campaigning for the government to take action to make it easier for all consumers to be able easily find the cheapest price and switch provider. Their aim is for “simple energy prices for everyone”.

    They are seeking as many people as possible to sign up to their ‘simple energy prices campaign’:

    “31st October There’s another chance for the government to implement a single unit price as the Energy Bill returns to Parliament.”

  8. 8 Autonomous Mind 17/10/2013 at 1:45 pm

    Perhaps Fake, when you emerge from your own microcosm and look at the world around you, you will be stunned to discover many properties in this country are not capable of being insulated. That’s not luddism, it’s realism.

    It’s moving away from the 1950s, and the notion of providing enough energy to meet demand, that is seeing prices driven up. The agenda is to force people to use less by driving up prices. The agenda is to replace reliable forms of energy generating stuctures that rely on the unpredictable variables of nature.

    Is it luddism to oppose that too?

  9. 9 fake 17/10/2013 at 4:17 pm

    *Perhaps Fake, when you emerge from your own microcosm and look at the world around you, you will be stunned to discover many properties in this country are not capable of being insulated. That’s not luddism, it’s realism.*

    Firstly, as I said, I am simply pointing out this bashing is all to one sided, we should start moving away from 1950s standards and attitudes. I’ve never bought into the GW bulls, but I’ve always found it silly how willfully “ignorant” people can be, it’s why so many British builders have an “i’ve always done it this way” attitude, it’s just how a lot of people think, no matter how shite they way “they have always done it” is.

    We are looking at 30% of roof spaces not even being insulated, or extremely poorly insulated, when insulation was being flogged for £1 a roll, why?

    Because people didn’t see the point/couldn’t be arsed.

    I know someone living in a council place, bungalow, uninsulated loft, drafty, spending loads of money on heating, but they wouldn’t spend the £20 to do it themselves, partly because “it’s the councils job”, partly some unfathomable idea that it’s not worth it (cue them screaming about the cost of heating), meh.

    Nearly all houses can be insulated, your simply wrong there, (except for rare listed buildings, and even then….), just not all to a very high standard, Internal wall insulation (within limits to avoid condensation) is still relatively cheap, I could go on, but there are books on the subject, IIRC more than half of cavities are unfilled, despite the government chucking money at it at loads of people.

    Maybe we don’t need to do it now, still plenty of fossils (nuclear will never be cheap with all the regulation) it’s certainly being done with a blunt tool with no finesse, and windfarms are a whole other subject.

    But yea, I think it’s luddism to want us to stick to 100w bulbs and shitty insulation, cus we can just burn coal and gas, cept that’s a short term solution with rising prices, and ITER or whatever isnt going to happen in our lifetime. even without the GW buggery energy prices wouldnt be THAT much cheaper, and we have old people in cold doughty homes.

    Sorry if that’s all a bit rambling, don’t have time to make it a bit less so.

  10. 10 Dave_G 17/10/2013 at 5:23 pm

    @Fake – “buy LED bulbs….” gee thanks, increase my cost still further why don’t you? Maybe I should junk my flat screen TV for a new, even lower power consumption device? Where will it end?

    Just step back 10 or 15 years. Where were the complaints about ‘unaffordable energy’ (ok, there were probably ‘some’ but not like today when nearly everyone is complaining) – where were the whingers banging on about ‘installing loft insulation’? etc etc…. energy USED to be affordable and as far as producing it, not a lot has changed EXCEPT rules, regulations and legislation deliberately forcing the price upwards. It’s the deliberate interference in the markets that has screwed the public over – all engineered by people who have vested interests in creaming off the publics purse.

  11. 11 qed 17/10/2013 at 7:03 pm


    “Nearly all houses can be insulated, your simply wrong there, (except for rare listed buildings, and even then….), just not all to a very high standard..”

    It’s not so simple and it’s not condensation. More insulation reduces cold areas on the inner leaf of the cavity wall and therefore the inner leaf is warmer which means water vapour is less likely to condense!

    Jeff of the Telegraph has written about the problem of filling the cavities of older houses with insulation at length because people are concerned. They know that the cavity was built for a reason, to STOP water penetrating the building and filling it is unwise:

    “I am sceptical about the advisability of injecting insulation into existing cavity walls – a position I take because of my own background experience, as a trained and experienced bricklayer, university construction lecturer, and lately as building columnist for The Sunday Telegraph…..

    “Most of the letters ask a simple question. Heating costs are at an all-time high, they say, which is a huge burden on people on fixed incomes, particular pensioners. So should they take up the offer of free cavity wall insulation?

    “….the Building Research Establishment has found that single-leaf brick walls ALWAYS leak when exposed to wind-driven rain. The leakage occurs at the vertical (or “perp”) joints between adjacent bricks, because of drying shrinkage in the mortar. It is not a question of poor workmanship; it is an inevitable property of this form of construction…..

    “Until the recent fad for cavity wall insulation took hold, the only times rainwater penetration was a problem was when the steel wall ties were dirty with mortar droppings and/or built sloping downwards from outer leaf to inner leaf, or the cavity itself was blocked at low level with mortar droppings or other debris. In those cases penetrating rainwater could track across the cavity and show up as damp patches on internal decorative surfaces, but the solution was relatively simple – cut out a few bricks and clear the rubbish out of the cavity, or replace the offending wall ties….

    “Dampness problems caused by cavity wall insulation do not generally occur in houses where the insulation was built-in from new. They happen in houses which were built prior to the 1980s, with clear cavities…..”

    “I have received dozens of letters and e-mails from readers who say that, following installation of blown mineral-wool fibre, their inside walls have become damp and mouldy, and their homes have become uninhabitable and unsellable. And in every case the installers and their “guarantee” provider CIGA (the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Association) has refused to acknowledge that the cavity wall insulation was the cause of their problems….”

  12. 12 fake 18/10/2013 at 12:01 pm

    @ Qed = I’m not going to discuss this here, because there are forums and books dedicated to the subject, needless to say every point you raise, there are easy solutions to, cavity fill is only 1 method, many cheap alternatives exist, many of them easy for a DIYer if you want to do it really cheap.

    @Dave_G = Stop talking shit. I remember my granddad living in a cold damp house (gas heater making it damper, and no insulation making it cold), because he could afford anything better. Back then 100mm of roof insulation was still untypical. Fuel poverty is nothing new. FFS I have 30 year old text books on building surveying detailing the issues that lack of heating (or insulation) can contribute to, mainly mould.

    “buy LED bulbs….” gee thanks, increase my cost still further why don’t you”

    Based on 1985-1990 prices (yes), you would still end up saving money over incandescent or halogens, even without green inflation prices would have gone up since then, payback would take 1-2 years assuming 4 hours use a day, again based on 1985-1990 prices.

    Typical Luddite.

  1. 1 Energy prices: Reality bites as the grotesque political deception continues | Autonomous Mind Trackback on 17/10/2013 at 1:01 pm
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