Douglas Carswell

14 JAN 2013

Stop this energy racket

Cold weather brings higher heating bills. But for many of my constituents, it is not the weather that's done the most to drive up their bills. It's government policy.

If we had a proper energy market, companies would produce energy in order to sell to customers. Electricity generators would each try a slightly different way of doing so. Some might do so using a bit more shale gas than others. Other firms might use a bit less coal and a bit more wind.

Because energy producers would be competing on price to keep the punters satisfied, we would soon see what was the most effective energy mix. We might even see the kind of technological innovation that has turned the US energy market on its head over the past five years, with cheap shale gas.

But we do not have a proper energy market. Companies produce energy in order to comply with official requirements – such as the decreed that 15 percent of our electricity must come from off shore wind by 2020. Officialdom stipulates how they should generate power. Regulators determine the price and profit margin.

It is a bit of racket. Profits do not seem to come by supplying punters with a product at a price they are willing to pay – but by doing cosy, corporatist deals with government.

Today, the House of Commons exposes a £17 Billion arrangement that will leave the corporate interests quids in. At your expense.

Energy corporatism is giving capitalism a bad name.

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