Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the tag “energy”

Energy Help

With a fanfare the Government today announces a wonderful ‘deal’ with the energy companies. They are going to provide home insulation for the very elderly and those on benefits and so assist in reducing their bills. Well freethinkeruk can’t speak for anyone else but I have been getting information from my supplier (EDF) for some time offering just such a deal. Cynic that I am I can’t help but think this latest announcement is just an old agreement dusted off and presented as a breakthrough.

The estimated cost to the suppliers is around £1billion and as I said in a previous post, the suppliers will get this, or a windfall tax back from their customers one way or another. When pressed in an interview Hillary Benn (I can’t believe Tony is his dad) admitted that we will all pay about an extra £35 per year to cover this expenditure. QED!

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Energy Windfall Tax

Pressure from various quarters, seems to be building  on the Government to charge a ‘windfall tax’ on the energy suppliers. They have after all made enormous additional profits from the rising costs of oil and gas, even though when these costs have decreased, the price to customers has not been reduced.

The false argument is that this windfall tax would be used to reduce fuel costs in particular to the most vulnerable. The argument is a false one because (a) the Government would be unlikely to pass all this on to consumers (b) the suppliers would simply increase their prices to make up the shortfall in their balance sheets (c) any reductions passed on by Government would be a one off and we would be in the same position twelve months from now.

It was said at the time that when Margaret Thatcher privatised the energy industry that she was selling off the family silver and how right they were; the chickens are now coming home to roost. What has been done though, can be undone. Our Nation should not be dependant on private companies, many of them foreign owned, for it’s vital energy. The time is right to re-nationalise them. One wholly State owned energy  company would have enormous buying power and with no investors requiring an annual large dividend payout prices would fall dramatically and be under greater control by the end users, the voting public.

The cost in financial terms would of course be great but would represent an investment in the future of our Nation. It may well require that a fresh look is taken at other drains on the Exchequer such as do we actually need several billion Pounds worth of Aircraft carriers and do we really see a use for billions of Pounds worth of Trident submarines or billions spent on useless Identity Cards?

It could be done, it should be done, all it needs is a leader and a government with vision and bravery. Sadly therefore it is not likely to happen but here’s hoping.

Green Energy Scam?

It has come to the attention of freethinkeruk that the Government has not been slow in wasting money out of reducing our carbon footprint. No surprise there then.

A so called ‘Charitable Trust’ BRE Global Ltd which used to be the Building Research Establishment and once state owned, has set itself up as the arbiter of standards in renewable energy supply such as solar panels. Who gave them this authority and how come that government grants are dependant on certification by this Trust?

A solar panel installer wishing to enable his customers to take advantage of a grant must first be certified by BRE. This will cost the installer £1800 initially and £1000 per year thereafter so what does he get for it? He gets a certificate after just ONE of his installations has been inspected, without poof that he even did it himself and gets his name put on the website. What a rip off and these costs must, of course, be passed on to the customer. Parts used in the installation must also be certificated by BRE at enormous cost to the manufacturer even though they already conform to EU standards. These charges too will find their way to the customer.

The whole green-energy business seems to be a mine field of interconnecting websites. Take The Energy Saving Trust for example yes, yet another Trust which though, actually calls itself an ‘Independant Company.’ This ‘independant’ company is funded by wait for it:- The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Department for Transport; the Department for Trade and Industry and the Scottish Executive plus a whole string of the major energy producers such as BP Oil, EDF Energy, none of whom any sane person would call independent.

Back to the minefield so stick with it! If we go from the Energy Saving Trust Grants link we get to BERR which is The Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (freethinkeruk hadn’t even heard of that one!) Click on Apply for grant/Householders/type/certified installers. Pick one installer website at random (or anywhere else in the country) and checking out certification you’ll get to Green Book Live. What is this you may wonder? Well it’s part funded by The Energy Trust and is another BRE website!!

So there you have it, a little effort and we’ve come full circle. A circle of interconnecting websites and companies, dubious sounding charitable trusts and the Government. All of them with a board of directors, staff to be paid and doubtless very good expense accounts, all contributing to the global warming that they profess to reduce. All being paid for ultimately by the poor concerned buggers who want to do their bit to reduce carbon emissions.

Just a little extra regarding the BRE Charitable Trust. Taken from last year’s accounts which show the salaries of the highest paid employees including the Directors. The names of directors or how many there are does not appear to be on their website, freethinkeruk continues the search.

Number earning £60,000 – £69,999   13

£70,000 – £79,999        4

£80,000 – £89,999        1

£100,000 – £109,999    2

£110,000 – £119,999    1

£120,000 – £129,999    2

£200,000 – £209,999    2

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