For years the Government have had no Energy Policy - soon we will have no energy - well none of our own - to have a policy
The Select Committee on Business and Enterprise have published their Eleventh Report today ;
High energy prices affect both individual consumers, and the competitiveness of the UK economy as a whole. We decided to conduct an inquiry after the majority of the 'Big 6' energy companies raised their prices in early 2008.(. Four of the so-called 'Big 6'—Npower, Centrica, EDF Energy and Scottish Power—had, in the space of a few weeks, announced price increases for their domestic customers of between 8% and 15% for electricity, and 13% and 17% for gas. E.ON UK followed shortly after. Only Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) held off from raising its prices during the winter, though it eventually did so on 1 April. )**** We announced our inquiry on 5 February; on 21 February Ofgem announced that it too would conduct a probe into the energy markets. We have accordingly shaped our inquiry to ensure that it can feed into Ofgem's work, for which a preliminary report is expected by the end of September 2008. We intend to look closely at Ofgem's findings when they are available.On Friday, EDF raised gas prices by 22% and electricity prices by 17% for domestic and small business customers.
Which is why OFGEM under the obscenely remunerated and recently ennobled Lord Mogg has remained silent ... and probably on holiday.
If this isn't an indictment of the slothful, wasteful, idle, incompetent lairs and ne'er do wells that run OFGEM then nothing is ..
We are concerned that Ofgem's terms of reference suggest it may pay relatively little attention to the wholesale markets, and, in particular, the wholesale gas market. Our overall conclusion on the functioning of both the gas and electricity wholesale markets is that there are significant questions that need to be addressed in the interests of both retail and business consumers. The price of gas determines the wholesale price of electricity, because gas-fired power accounts for around a third of the UK's generating capacity, and tends to provide the marginal source of generation to the market. We consider that the competitiveness of the wholesale gas market affects the competitiveness of the UK's energy markets as a whole, and deserves particular scrutiny.OFGEM meeting with Chancellor January 18th 2008 - MARKET IS SOUND – OFGEM ASSURES CHANCELLOR "In their meeting today (Tuesday) with the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, Ofgem Chairman Sir John Mogg and Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan confirmed that Britain’s competitive marketin energy is working"
Here at The Forthcoming UK Energy Deficit (FCUKED) we (and so have many. many other people) have been pointing out the declining stock of indigenous energy resource, the limited stocks, especially of gas - some 14/15 days ( This is an issue the predecessor DTI Committee raised in its 2002 and 2005 Conclusion Para 12 ) and the disappearing nuclear power industry.
The Government and the supine MP's who have over the years watched this ,might well relish Conclusion Para 2 as they munch on their Knickerbocker Glory on the beach at Southwold...."As a result, we expect gas and electricity bills for domestic consumers to rise significantly in the near future, over and above the increases already announced this year, with serious consequences for millions of households, and especially the fuel poor. Industrial consumers now face prices above European levels. If these price differentials are sustained, they will affect the competitiveness of the UK economy, and put many thousands of jobs in manufacturing at risk."
They might also dwell on Conclusion 3, which many of us arrived at a long time ago ..."We are particularly concerned by the perception that Ofgem has already predicted the outcome of its inquiry, by stating at the outset that it has seen "no clear evidence that the market is failing".
Simply consider this ..." We are troubled by the apparent discrepancy between the figures cited by our various witnesses on the extent to which gas is delivered to the UK via off-market contracts, as opposed to the visible market. The absence of consensus on such a basic characteristic of the market makes it difficult to reach secure public policy conclusions about desirable interventions. (Paragraph 15) "
If OFGEM cannot obtain even this most basic information how on earth can they hope to perform any regulatory powers ?
This Inquiry is critical to the future health of the nation (especially it's older members) and to the wealth of it's industry - upon which we all rely.
It will of course be put on a shelf to gather dust as Gordon dithers about what to do.
FInally just ponder this as a colossal indictment on the stupid, insane, lame brained, fraudulent, dishonest "Cap'n'trade policy on emissions....so beloved of Saint Margaret a Beckett.." Coclusions Para 18. It is clear that the 'Big 6' firms and the independent generators have, to varying degrees, benefited financially from the free allocation of permits in Phase 2 of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. However, the magnitude of this windfall is not clear. Furthermore, at least some of the value may be passed on to consumers through lower prices, via cross-subsidy from their generating arms, while some may support much needed investment in new capacity. We are disappointed by the superficiality of Ofgem's current analysis."
What to do ?
First step : Take out Ofgem, every