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Power: the true cost of ‘out of the blue’ energy policies

October 18, 2012
English: DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN10 - David Ca...

English: DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN10 – David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party, United Kingdom, speaks during the session ‘Rethinking Government Assistance’ in the Congress Centre of the Annual Meeting 2010 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once again, David Cameron is saying what he thinks voters want to hear to be ‘popular’, without working out the consequences of his actions.

I too, was annoyed when I realised that our energy supplier, Southern Electric, were not automatically offering us the cheapest deal. But we just switched supply to Co-operative Energy, when we found we were on a Standard Rate, which was not the cheapest.

At least we had the option and were not ‘locked in’. The Co-operative make their offer clear and easy to understand. More people should do the same, it is not difficult.

So you might think I would be in favour of the Conservatives’ proposal to make it ‘compulsary’ that we get the best rate. Yeh, right, what planet are you on Dave?

This gaffe is a deflection from the real issue. The cost of electricity generation, and the investment required to ensure ‘the lights stay on’ in the UK in years to come.

The “big issue” that needs to emerge in the forthcoming Energy Bill is a considered, long term strategy that will encourage and enable the considerable investment in infrastructure that is required to meet demand for electricity and other energy needs in the UK for the next 20-30 years. And one that will facilitate early agreement, so decisions are made, and design and construction work gets underway.

The Government has already imposed a ‘green levy’ on suppliers to help fund investment in renewables, which has added 10% to our ever increasing energy costs.

But investment in renewables alone is not enough. I believe we need investment in new nuclear power stations. Leaving these decisions to ‘market forces’ alone will result in further delays. Cameron’s rash statement this week compounds the problem. Suppliers need to know the rules of the game, and incentives are required to bring forward action.

Politicians ‘shooting from the hip’ will not help these companies (many of whom are controlled from outside the UK) make sizeable investments in the UK to ensure competitively priced energy generation in the future.

Do you have a view on the ‘nuclear’ option?

If you only have time to read one link, this is worth reading:-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/18/prices-cameron-energy-mess-power

and for more background on this story, read:-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/oct/18/energy-minister-tariffs-row-deepens

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/oct/18/energy-tariff-plans-under-pressure

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