29 Oct 2013

MPs and energy bosses: no power surge, little illumination

What did we learn from the energy bosses’ session in front of  MPs on the energy and climate change committee? We heard that the big six energy companies are thrilled with David Cameron’s suggestion last week that he wants to roll back the government-imposed on energy bills.

He’ll be pleased to hear them guaranteeing that the savings would be passed on, pound for pound, and quickly. He might be less pleased to hear them claiming it was all their idea in the first place.  The big six couldn’t wait to steer the conversation in the direction of the levy-lifting.

One boss referred to the levies being “smeared” across everyone’s bills and another one challenged a Labour MP that he should oppose them because they were like the poll tax which he’d probably opposed and not progressive.

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Labour MP Albert Owen pointed out that some of these self-same regulatory dragons that David Cameron was promising  to slay were ones he’d introduced himself as recently as April.

There were tantalising moments in the questioning which didn’t really come to much.  MPs asked why the energy companies insist that their generator/wholesale and retail sides of the business are very properly separate and yet like to combine them when they’re setting dividends.

The bosses said they didn’t hide profits when buying off their generator wings but if they were forced to split off the businesses it would raise their hedging risks.

We learnt that if you want to embarrass witnesses you should interview them jointly with their upstart, smaller rivals. The boss from Ovo cheeked his bigger energy cousins for remorseless “filibustering” of accounts and said he didn’t know how their wholesale energy costs got so high.

Tonight, the Energy and Business Minister Michael Fallon was explicit about how lifting green levies might be paid for.

He said: ” We are looking at the green levies that are charged at the moment and it’s perfectly possible to move some of them over to general taxation…that would mean an increase in taxation…but it’s also possible to look at the period over which the levy is charged and spread the burden more fairly. We’re looking at that at the moment…”

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2 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:

    Gary,

    Surely you didn’t expect that gallery of puppets and tenth rate gimps to volunteer the truth? Or the MPs to have the guts to eviscerate them in public?

    The political establishment isn’t going to do a number on the very people it gave our utilities to in the first place, especially the tories. None of them even raised the question of “wholesale prices,” who raised them, why, and how much profit THEY make.

    The profiteering ripoff will go on until such time as all utilities are nationalised and the profit motive eliminated. Get rid of the Essex spivs and barrow boys and we might have an opportunity to lessen the chance of our older citizens dying of hypothermia this Winter. This scam will go on until we take back what was ours in the first place.

  2. Nigel Simmons says:

    BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS – FOR THOSE THAT FELL FOR US
    The genuine of us wear a Poppy and show respect for the fallen in both World Wars and for what they fought for , loved ones ,comrades and a better promised life .Not for Corporate Greed and not to be subjugated by a minorities whims and phoney ideologies .The laying of wreaths by those that have sent people to war since have no comprehension of what they are actually doing .
    Remembrance Day is also a celebration of it will not happen again ,the fallen deserve better than hypercrites displaying their phoney remorse for one day then discussing the next drone strike .
    We gave Margret Thatcher a magnificent send off any soldier would be proud of but which one she did not deserve in retrospect unless we were celebrating her achievement of creating Monopolies Markets especially in the Energy trade .She sold the Electricity Industry off Lock Stock and Barrel and it would take an Act of Parliament to re-nationalise the industry before any influence by any Government could be applied .We are lied to repeatedly ,we are robbed blind through price fixing and the Companies stick two fingers up to the Government so Government Tax us more .
    http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

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