We’re all in this together
Looking after our profits
According to Office of National Statistics, winter deaths last year up by 29% to 31,000. Coincidently, Big Six profits have soared.
Today protests in London against the Big Six, calls for nationalisation.
Organised by UK Uncut, was trending on twitter in London.
Media blackout as usual by mainstream, media. BBC mentioned rising deaths, fuel poverty, but no mention of protests across the country against the Big Six.
Big Six say prices have to go up, blame green taxes, cost of distribution, cost on wholesale markets.
Energy prices should be high. We then value energy, are frugal in its use. We only have to look at what has happened in the Philippines to see why energy prices should remain high. And no way should energy be subsidised by the taxpayer. Having said that, it does not grant licence to print money by mostly foreign-owned energy companies.
The Big Six bleat about what they call green taxes. Strictly speaking, green and social taxes. This money raised goes to insulation, renewable energy, helping to offset energy costs of those in poverty. These charges account for roughly 10% of the average bill, thus are insignificant.
Those in poverty, pay a significantly higher proportion of their income on fuel. They are also hit proportionately harder when prices rise faster than inflation. The latest price rises are three times the rate of inflation.
Those on benefits, have seen a cut in their benefits, out of which they now have to pay Council tax and Bedroom Tax.
Distribution costs have gone up, allegedly to pay for infrastructure costs.
This leaves wholesale costs. These have remained fairly flat. But when we do see spikes, these are spot market prices. Are we to really believe the Big Six are buying on the spot market, not have long term deals in place?
The Big Six claim they are making little money, that they have massive investment plans to pay for.
At the very least, the Big Six are being economical with the truth. The distribution side of the business does have a relatively low profit margin. Where are the investment costs? There are none. The distribution side merely buys and sells.
And who do the Big Six buy from? The generators. And who owns the generators? The Big Six. And it is the generation side of the business where the Big Six are making a killing.
The Big Six have to be broken up, into generating and distribution companies. We have to have transparency in the market.
The government should not give in to bullying by the Big Six and remove the green and social taxes.
We also need to see a change in the way users are charged for fuel. There should be no standing charge (which proportionately penalises those who use less, especially those who are struggling to pay their bills), a flat rate per KW-hour, and end to confusion pricing.
There can be no excuse for either the standing charge or the confusion pricing. At a petrol station, you do not see a price per litre plus standing charge. At a supermarket checkout, you are not billed for your groceries, then a charge on top for the checkout.
One of the most obscene example of standing charges is levied by SSE. Those with pre-payment meters (usually those in poverty) are already being charged at the highest rate for their fuel. For SSE customers, each time they put £10 on a card, to put money on their prepayment meters, they ae ccharged £1-92 for the privilege of doing so, almost 20%.