Energy Companies Campaign for Lower Bills!

The energy companies have started to campaign for lower energy bills. Of course, they have not started a campaign to make themselves charge consumers less for energy. They have started a campaign for the levies for renewable energy and for insulation which are at present added as extras to the energy bills of households to be deleted from energy bills and charged and paid for out of general taxation. This means that although an individual household’s energy bill may be lower after deducting these additional subsidy costs, an individual household’s tax will be higher so there will be no practical purpose or change. The household will end up paying exactly the same amount.

There is logic in having levies for renewables and for energy-saving to be charged and collected through household energy bills. That logic is a matter of principle as well as a matter of logic. The use of energy causes pollution; it causes the emission of greenhouse gases and the injection of particulates into the atmosphere. The former creates the potential for rapid global warming and climate change whereas the latter creates respiratory diseases in the populations that breathe in the particulates.

In my view, the present structuring of energy bills does not go far enough. Adding a levy to each energy bill is simply rough justice and does not reflect the pollution caused by energy use. Energy use is essential to life prosperity and welfare, so there should be a level of energy use by household which is affordable. The use of energy in a way that reflects a luxurious lifestyle should only be afforded by those who can afford it. If you do not switch on lights and leave appliances on standby then you will end up having to pay a higher rate for the energy you waste.

My proposal has always been to require energy companies to charge for energy on the basis of use; the less you use the lower unit rate you should pay. This actually would invert the existing charging pyramid and would mean the abolition of standing charges and other complex charging mechanisms. There would probably be no more than three rates of unit charge over a 12 month period and according to energy use a customer would pay for the first so many units of energy at the lowest charge, for the next so many units of energy at the medium rate of charge and for the remainder of the units used at the highest rate of charge. That way polluters would pay for their pollution.

My proposal would encourage the use of energy in the most efficient way. Getting any excess charges levied by the energy companies into the common purse would have to be done by taxation and although governments are not very successful when it comes to taxing oligarchies and very large multinationals we can but live in hope.

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