A new winter of discontent: The continuing controversy over energy bills


The coldest spring in half a century has made energy bills the hottest topic of the season. But the heat has shifted in recent days, from rising gas prices in the face of supply shortages, to the cost of green and energy saving measures such as wind power and loft insulation.

The focus on the green contribution to energy bills has intensified this week following the launch on Sunday of the Powerline lobby group, whose manifesto is light on detail but which essentially believes an over-reliance on wind energy is pushing electricity prices far too high and heightens the threat of blackouts.

Powerline, which is led by former British Energy commercial director Philip Stephens, is arguably raising more questions than it answers. It has failed to identify its backers and does not give a source for an alarming graph suggesting that 40 per cent of our current energy supply is at risk over the next five years thanks to carbon taxes.

But the fact that Powerline has made such big waves with so little cargo only serves to underline the void left by a government that is unwilling to acknowledge the full cost of low-carbon power in the face of widespread opposition to rising energy bills.

Hopes that the government may be about to close the void were raised a fortnight ago when it announced its intention to be “open and transparent about the impacts of our policies on the cost of energy for consumers” and published a 97-page report breaking down the likely path of household energy bills over the next two decades with forensic precision.

via A new winter of discontent: The continuing controversy over energy bills | Tom Bawden | Independent Editor’s choice Blogs.