Energy Costs ? Price Cap News And Other Related Issues

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Several doing the rounds this morning ... Morning Star ... or should that be Mourning Star ? ... city-bills

Hinkley Point blunders will mean higher electricity bills

BRITAIN’S poorest households face higher energy bills to pay for the government’s bungled handling of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, MPs warned yesterday.

The public accounts committee voiced concerns that consumers are “locked into” the expensive 35-year deal.

The MPs said no-one was protecting the interests of energy consumers over the deal and questioned why the government has not revised the terms since the project was commissioned in 2013.

The original cost of £6 billion has now soared to £30bn, according to a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) forecast cited in the committee’s report.

Its operator, French energy giant EDF, has been given a guaranteed price — above current prices — for the electricity it produces, the MPs noted.

The report said the average annual household electricity bill would rise by £10 to £15 to support the new power station up to 2030, which could disproportionately affect the poorest households.

A BEIS spokesman said it had ensured consumers would not pay anything until the station generates power in 2025.

But Greenpeace UK head of energy Hannah Martin argued: “Hinkley looked like a dodgy deal over a year ago, but now that offshore wind is so much cheaper than new nuclear, this project makes absolutely no financial sense.”

There you go folks ... Greenpeace have said it all !

Not only that , the anticipated increase in skilled workers needed when operations begin has fallen dramatically ... thus exposing the Government's argument for boosting the local economy.

Question ... any vested interests in all this ?

Seems to be a lot more to this one than has already been published ?

No doubt , The Eye have this one in their sights ???

Headline from the Bristol Post to add a little seasoning to the above :

Any attempt to get better value for money would have killed £30bn Hinkley Point deal

Every household will have to pay up to £15 a year for the next 13 years to fund new nuclear power plant

Make of this what you will ... I wonder what our children / grandchildren will make of it ?
The call for price caps on energy costs grows :

Price cap on energy bills urgently needed, says committee.

The government's planned cap on energy bills should be introduced urgently, to stop customers from being overcharged, a report from MPs says.

Competition was not working and had failed to deliver fair prices for consumers, a select committee said.

The committee said it was "underwhelmed by the feeble steps" taken by energy companies to avoid government action.

The cap should be temporary and fixed at an "absolute" level, rather than set relative to other tariffs.

Legislation should be passed before the summer recess, the report suggested, which should allow the cap to be in place before the end of the year.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has been examining the government's draft bill to cap energy tariffs, following a commitment made last year by Theresa May.

"The Big Six energy companies might whine and wail about the introduction of a price cap," said Rachel Reeves, the committee's chairwoman.

"But they've been overcharging their customers on default and standard variable tariffs for years and their recent feeble efforts to move consumers off these tariffs has only served to highlight the need for this intervention."

The report said the larger energy companies had "brought this policy intervention upon themselves by raising their prices in 2017 and by failing to take effective action against the overcharging of their customers".

The regulator Ofgem was also criticised for being "too slow and reluctant" to use its powers to protect the interests of customers.

'Excessive prices'

The MPs' report said 12 million customers "stuck on poor-value" standard variable and default tariffs were paying up to £300 a year more their energy than other people.

Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs) are the most expensive product in the energy market, and customers have been urged to look for cheaper fixed-price deals.

But the report said consumers should not be penalised if they did not shop around.

Five million of the UK's most vulnerable households, many of whom pay using pre-payment meters, already have their energy bills capped. But with the cost of producing energy expected to rise in the Spring those households were recently told they should expect a rise in their energy bills.

An Ofgem spokesperson said it was pressing ahead with plans to protect energy consumers in expectation of the new legislation.

The regulator said "innovative solutions" such as its scheme to trial "collective switching" which would allow consumers to group together to gain better deals, would help households reduce their energy bills Ofgem said.

The Business Secretary, Greg Clark, said the report confirmed that " the energy market isn't working for customers stuck on rip-off tariffs".

He said that the government's plan to introduce a price cap would protect consumers from high energy bills.

Competition concerns

MPs backed the government's plan for the cap on standard variable tariffs to be set at an "absolute" or fixed level, rather than be "relative" or set at a maximum difference to other fixed tariffs available to customers.

They said a relative cap might create a perverse incentive for suppliers to increase their lowest prices to maintain overall profits.

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at the price comparison and switching service uSwitch said any price cap might "do more harm than good" if it undermined competition between energy companies.

"A widespread price cap could lull energy customers into a false sense of security if they think they are protected by it," he said.

Energy UK, a body representing the industry said more customers were already switching suppliers to get better deals and that the cap could hamper competition.

"It's also important that the cap accurately reflects suppliers' costs, most of which are out of their direct control," said Energy UK's chief executive Lawrence Slade.

What else would any reader expect when OUR assets have been sold to the private sector ?

BILLIONS of £s paid out from the profits to shareholders instead of being reinvested in lowering prices and the infra structure.

Short term gain / long term pain.

Return ALL to public ownership !!!