UK Energy Bosses Call for Government Assistance for Poor People

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t observa; Green failure in the midst of plenty: Britain has vast frackable gas reserves which could provide affordable energy for decades to come. But a bipartisan commitment to failed green policies has left Britain with nightmare energy shortages, a string of energy sector bankruptcies, and skyrocketing prices.

Energy bosses call for price cap to be scrapped and more aid to prevent ‘horrific’ winter ahead

James Sillars, business reporter

Bosses of the UK’s largest energy firms have called on the government to intervene with “unprecedented” measures to prevent a fuel poverty crisis next winter.

The chief executives told MPs investigating energy prices that while pre-payment customers were already reeling from the effects of rising bills, they expected the numbers in financial distress to only increase as time goes on ahead of another expected leap in the energy price cap from October.

The cap rose by a record £693 per year on average in April – with pre-payment customers, who tend to be among the most vulnerable, facing an even larger increase.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee heard ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson call for the cap system – blamed for the failure of dozens of competitors as they were unable to pass on huge rises in raw energy costs – to be scrapped in favour of a social tariff that would see the better off pay more.

He also suggested that, in the interim, a deficit fund should be established to allow people deemed struggling to be given 10 years to pay off £1,000 on their bills.

Research from industry specialist Cornwall Insight has predicted another hike of almost £500 to the average annual bill at that time reflecting, for the first time, heightened wholesale energy costs since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Such an increase would leave the average annual bill beyond £2,450.

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According to Money Saving Expert, UK consumers pay around £0.28 / KWh (US $0.36 / KWh), almost double California’s $0.19 / KWh – and that is with the price capping scheme.

Domestic gas is cheaper – but the green obsessed UK government has banned gas boilers in new homes from 2025, and is pushing hard to phase out all domestic gas usage, on the grounds that gas produces greenhouse emissions.

Cornwall Insight (quoted above) predicts a substantial increase of £500 / annum (US $750 / annum) for consumers this year, on top of the price rises they have already experienced.

In my opinion the coming price rises could be far worse than predicted. A pipe which runs through a war zone is not my idea of energy security. Even though the UK is not as heavily dependent on Russian gas as say Germany, if the Ukraine conflict deteriorates, everyone will be knocking on the door of European suppliers. Prices could go completely nuts.

This unaffordable energy nightmare could be abolished at a stroke of a pen. The UK fracking revolution is on the launchpad, waiting for regulatory approval – but the owners of an experimental shale gas well in Lancashire are too busy fighting to prevent the British government from permanently sealing their wells with concrete to focus on new gas field development.

I don’t know what else to say. The pain will continue until voters wake up, and demand their politicians allow shale gas fracking.

But British voters seem doggedly determined to see this insanity through to the end, to test to destruction their fantasy that government investment in renewables can deliver, when we have ample evidence that it cannot.

via Watts Up With That?

April 20, 2022 at 12:55PM

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