Martin Lewis grills energy secretary over support for vulnerable people this winter

MSE_Molly_G
MSE_Molly_G Posts: 84 MSE Staff
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edited 20 July 2023 at 4:33PM in Energy
Energy secretary Grant Shapps was questioned today by MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis about his lack of action to bring down standing charges and why he's yet to introduce an energy social tariff. On ITV's Good Morning Britain today (19 July), Martin also grilled the minister on whether more support would be offered to vulnerable people this coming winter.

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Martin Lewis grills energy secretary over lack of action on standing charges and missing support for vulnerable households this winter

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  • wakeupalarm
    wakeupalarm Posts: 1,102 Forumite
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    edited 19 July 2023 at 6:03PM
    Getting error message with your link, "Whoops! Sorry, you've landed on a page that doesn't exist".

    try
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2023/07/martin-lewis-energy-support-winter/
  • I can't think of anything worse than listening to these two self-absorbed people having a conversation.
  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,880 Forumite
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    I think Martin Lewis is great, but shouldn't we all just pay our bills for the things that we use?
    I can see the argument that pay-as-you-use should not cost people more. If people are on benefits, then they get money, just as I do for working. In some cases they get more than myself.
  • pushpull
    pushpull Posts: 50 Forumite
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    I think Martin Lewis is great, but shouldn't we all just pay our bills for the things that we use?
    I can see the argument that pay-as-you-use should not cost people more. If people are on benefits, then they get money, just as I do for working. In some cases they get more than myself.
    I agree, we cannot keep subsidising everything in multiple ways, via benefits, energy subsidies, COLA payments etc. We pay benefits, they are there to pay for things. Social tariffs are also an awful idea, they create cliff edges, they create very odd subsidy dynamics and they should not be implemented. 

    I feel Lewis is being disingenuous, standing charge exist to cover the cost of the grid and being connected to it, abolishing them would benefit low users at the expense of average and high users. Low users are generally those with solar, average and high users are usually families, the disabled and pensioners. I know some people love to have a tantrum about standing charges, but in generally that is because they want someone else to subsidise them, that is inherently an unfair position. 
    Lewis is well known for bandwagon hopping, it's largely what got him where he is today.

    Luckily for him, most people forget the god-awful bandwagons he jumps on that fail miserably, and I suspect this is one of them.

    The profits that energy suppliers make are razor-thin. Realistically if a "social tariff" was supplied at cost it'd make naff all difference to the average bill. The only way for it to make a difference is for it to come out of the pockets of everyone else, and I see that as being grossly unfair.
  • poppellerant
    poppellerant Posts: 1,936 Forumite
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    pushpull said:
    Lewis is well known for bandwagon hopping, it's largely what got him where he is today.

    Luckily for him, most people forget the god-awful bandwagons he jumps on that fail miserably, and I suspect this is one of them.

    The profits that energy suppliers make are razor-thin. Realistically if a "social tariff" was supplied at cost it'd make naff all difference to the average bill. The only way for it to make a difference is for it to come out of the pockets of everyone else, and I see that as being grossly unfair.
    Are you saying that EDF's profit of £1,125m in 2022 is "razor-thin"?


  • matt_drummer
    matt_drummer Posts: 1,342 Forumite
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    Are you saying that EDF's profit of £1,125m in 2022 is "razor-thin"?


    From that website

    Key points for the UK

    • EDF continues to invest strongly in bolstering the UK’s current and future energy security, investing over £2.6billion in 2022 in its nuclear, renewables and customer businesses.
    • Planned investment in the UK across 2023-25 is over £13bn, largely in Hinkley Point C; around £2billion is due to be invested in the existing nuclear fleet and renewables projects.
    • EBITDA for 2022 recovered to £1,124 million (vs. -£21 million in 2021), due to stronger operational performance in the nuclear fleet and higher realised prices; operating profit (EBIT) remained in negative territory at -£998 million, (vs -£1.7billion in 2021) due to depreciation and one-off impairments.
    • The Customers (energy supply) business made a loss of over £200million, as the cost of buying the energy for our residential customers was higher than the prices set under the caps imposed on Standard Variable Tariffs.
    • The Nuclear fleet performed well, with output up 1.9TWh at 43.6TWh – despite Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B ending generation.


    They lost £998 million as a total in 2022. In 2021 they lost £1.7 billion. Those figures are losses before interest and tax.

    You failed to read the whole report and have chosen the wrong figure!

    The retail business to residential customers lost £200 million in 2022.



    I would go back and read the whole report more carefully if I were you.



  • Scot_39
    Scot_39 Posts: 1,823 Forumite
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    edited 20 July 2023 at 6:32PM
    pushpull said:
    Lewis is well known for bandwagon hopping, it's largely what got him where he is today.

    Luckily for him, most people forget the god-awful bandwagons he jumps on that fail miserably, and I suspect this is one of them.

    The profits that energy suppliers make are razor-thin. Realistically if a "social tariff" was supplied at cost it'd make naff all difference to the average bill. The only way for it to make a difference is for it to come out of the pockets of everyone else, and I see that as being grossly unfair.
    Are you saying that EDF's profit of £1,125m in 2022 is "razor-thin"?



    EDF Group makes it's money in several ways - in multiple nations.

    But the actual bit responsible directly for you electric bills in UK - which are subject to the Ofgem cap - have to comply with the Ofgem profit allowance built into that cap - which is currently 1.9% EBIT - Earnings Before Interest and Taxation.

    A figure so low and with such negative press attached - the likes of Shell are quitting the UK, but also the German and at least one other EU nations domestic energy reseller market.

    Open your wardrobe - take a look at any branded label items - tops, trainers etc - and look at their reported profits. Then look at say aftershaves and perfumes or Apple phones in the good years. Despite massive investment in marketing / advertising / sales square footage via retailer markup allowances of 100% etc etc - they still report far higher profits. Nike c15% iirc in 2021 - Adidas $12bn gross, $3bn EBITDA etc etc.

    You can argue the case - with many - as many are now subsidiaries of the generators / drillers etc - who have been making windfall profits - that they shouldn't be in the other parts of the business.

    But it's normally not the part you have a supply contract with.

    In fact likes of Octopus - no obvious tie - and EDF and British Gas under Centrica tie etc - alike - have reported significant losses in recent times in the reseller market.

  • Chrysalis
    Chrysalis Posts: 4,154 Forumite
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    Seen the clip of Martin challenging Shapps on all of the following points. Martin truly is a saint.

    1 - Why hasnt Ofgem been spoken to about the changes they did voluntarily on moving costs from unit rate to SC, Shapps replied he spoke to Ofgem but didnt say the result of that discussion. Also briefly tried to justify the current expenses in defence of Ofgem.

    2 - What happened to the consultancy on a new social tariff, Shapps tried to fob off Martin saying the WHD is the help for the poor, Martin bounced it back saying thats not good enough, Shapps then replied saying there might still be a consultancy, one can be done with 2 weeks notice. (remember many of the poorest dont qualify for the WHD).

    3 - Is the £400 support coming back which as things stand means those who already tried very hard to reduce usage, and are still struggling will be paying more next winter.  Shapps said no more support as he thinks unit prices are now at an acceptable level, Martin reminded him we still at more than double normal prices, Shapps ignored it and repeated his previous reply.

    Shapps also justified his policies as a decision based on not offloading costs of new support on higher earning taxpayers, so was made clear those who are able to pay are being prioritised over those who are not now by the current government.

    He continues to fight and I applaud him, Ofgems claim the SC is some kind of equal sharing is laughable as a per household for of revenue collection is very regressive and uneven on ability to pay, with no account of number of earners in a household and income levels.  He proposed it is moved back to unit rate which is at least somewhat more reasonable as when more people are in a household they are more likely to use more and as such the contribution is more proportional.
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