MPs call for energy price cuts

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Comments

  • dogshome
    dogshome Posts: 3,877 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    When the Thatcher Govt. privatised the Utilities - the phrase at the time was 'Selling the family jewels' - they at least had the sense to set up a system where the generators competed on price to supply the local distributors, and the distributors had to get Ofgems permission to raise prices. Then for no good reason that I have ever seen, New Labour changed all the rules - The distributors were allowed to generate power, which led to an explosion in the number of cheapest-to-build gas fired power stations to the point that there were so many, wholesale electricty prices collapsed & traditional power stations were mothballed, yet in this new regime where 'Competition' was supposed to control domestic prices, not a single distributor lowered their tariffs and Scot Power listed the situation in their annual report as 'Windfall Profits'. Also at the time of this change in 2002, the useful life of Britains off shore gas was calculated as 20 years, but now needs the support of imported Gas only 7 years later.
    I almost feel sorry for the staff at Ofgem - In the beginning they had real clout they were not afraid to use, but the new legislation has emasculated them into an Agency full of non-jobs, and yet they still have the total support of Whitehall - For 18 months Ofgem were putting out press statements saying competition was working, whilst Energywatch, the recipient of all customer complaints and who knew which way the wind was blowing, were repeatedly saying it was not - So Whitehall resolves this embarressment by closing Energywatch and replaces it with a plethora of consumer complaint Agencies, each of which can only deal with certain problems and has no idea of the overall picture.
    In the belief that even politicians are not that stupid, I think that there is a secret agenda to assist the Govt. with it's CO2 targets by making fuels so expensive we just won't be able to afford what we need to use - It's either that or there are some very large brown envelopes being passed under tables in the back-street pubs of Westminster
  • mvan
    mvan Posts: 38 Forumite
    jimexbox wrote: »
    But when is a price cut not a price cut? When its an Eon price cut. The media fall into the trap of grabbing a headline 9% cut, when in fact only a select few, in a select region on a select tarrif will see a genuine 9% cut.

    Smoke and mirrors by the energy industry, its a total farce that will continue because there are just too many vested interests to change the status quo. Lets face it, how many MP's get a nice cushy non executive directorship of a large corporation after they are kicked out? How many become 'special' advisors to a large corporation? Im afraid we the customer are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to feeding time, and it ain't going to change anytime quick.

    Totally agree, my eon bill increased due to these so called price cuts and the quote about saving hundreds of pounds from switching is a laugh! OK those starting from a poor deal and sitting on it for years might save but most people have gone this. The regulators appear to be a waste of time and the Government could not even control the banking world so do not hold out much hope for energy companies! Consumers in this country are at the bottom and will remain so, only when action occurs will I be interested..
  • DirectDebacle
    DirectDebacle Posts: 2,045 Forumite
    This shows how important the cost of energy is to MP's. No wonder the Office for Gutless Energy Management couldn't give a t0ss either.

    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/energy/mps-accused-of-ignoring-fuel-poverty-vote-$1283594.htm
  • 1carminestocky
    1carminestocky Posts: 5,256 Forumite
    Cashback Cashier
    Disgraceful. Politics in this country is morally bankrupt. And please no-one say it will be better when the Tories get in because we know it really won't, don't we?

    Thought for the day: MPs should be changed frequently like baby's nappies...and for the very same reason.

    I'm also reminded of Billy Connolly's 'take' on these generally loathsome creatures - the very fact that someone actually wants to be become an MP should preclude them from ever being one. Thank you. I'm here all week...
    Call me Carmine....

    HAVE YOU SEEN QUENTIN'S CASHBACK CARD??
  • DirectDebacle
    DirectDebacle Posts: 2,045 Forumite
    I don't think we should be too hard on MP's. It isn't an easy job. Spending the day talking to other MP's about matters which neither they nor you have any real knowledge of must be tiring and tiresome. Then you have the choice of whether to vote on a matter which could help the poor and vulnerable in your constituency or go home and research the price of a bath plug for your second home. Bit of a tricky one but commonsense prevailed and the constituents had the plug pulled on them.:rolleyes:
  • mech_2
    mech_2 Posts: 620 Forumite
    dogshome wrote: »
    [...] New Labour changed all the rules - The distributors were allowed to generate power, which led to an explosion in the number of cheapest-to-build gas fired power stations to the point that there were so many, wholesale electricty prices collapsed & traditional power stations were mothballed, [...]
    I'm sorry, but the 'dash for gas' was all but over by the time New Labour got in. In fact soon afterwards they put in place a moratorium on new gas fired power stations (though they lifted it a couple of years later). About the same proportion of our electricity is generated by coal now as in 1997.
    [...] Also at the time of this change in 2002, the useful life of Britains off shore gas was calculated as 20 years, but now needs the support of imported Gas only 7 years later. [...]
    That needs correcting too. The calculation you refer to is: remaining gas reserves divided by current extraction rate. This doesn't say anything about when imports are needed as it doesn't take into account a reducing extraction rate. In fact we will still be getting some gas from the North Sea after 2022.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    dogshome wrote: »
    When the Thatcher Govt. privatised the Utilities - the phrase at the time was 'Selling the family jewels' - they at least had the sense to set up a system where the generators competed on price to supply the local distributors, and the distributors had to get Ofgems permission to raise prices. Then for no good reason that I have ever seen, New Labour changed all the rules - The distributors were allowed to generate power, which led to an explosion in the number of cheapest-to-build gas fired power stations to the point that there were so many, wholesale electricty prices collapsed & traditional power stations were mothballed, yet in this new regime where 'Competition' was supposed to control domestic prices, not a single distributor lowered their tariffs and Scot Power listed the situation in their annual report as 'Windfall Profits'. Also at the time of this change in 2002, the useful life of Britains off shore gas was calculated as 20 years, but now needs the support of imported Gas only 7 years later.
    I almost feel sorry for the staff at Ofgem - In the beginning they had real clout they were not afraid to use, but the new legislation has emasculated them into an Agency full of non-jobs, and yet they still have the total support of Whitehall - For 18 months Ofgem were putting out press statements saying competition was working, whilst Energywatch, the recipient of all customer complaints and who knew which way the wind was blowing, were repeatedly saying it was not - So Whitehall resolves this embarressment by closing Energywatch and replaces it with a plethora of consumer complaint Agencies, each of which can only deal with certain problems and has no idea of the overall picture.
    In the belief that even politicians are not that stupid, I think that there is a secret agenda to assist the Govt. with it's CO2 targets by making fuels so expensive we just won't be able to afford what we need to use - It's either that or there are some very large brown envelopes being passed under tables in the back-street pubs of Westminster

    Not much to disagree with in that post, except being semantic the phrase used at that time was "selling off the family silver";) (not jewels)
    Ex UK prime minister Harold Macmillan criticised Margaret Thatcher's government for 'selling off the family silver' when they privatised various public utilities in the 1980s

    "First of all, the Georgian silver goes,” said Harold Macmillan in a memorable speech attacking Mrs Thatcher’s privatisation policy in 1985.

    I think also that the looting of gas from the N Sea was at a far earlier date than you suggest.

  • mvan
    mvan Posts: 38 Forumite
    The recent press on expenses proves that most MPs have not got a clue how the energy companies practice as we (the tax payers) pick up all of their bills! Maybe some of these people should live in the real world for a change to see how the peasants cope...
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