Energy Prices: no matter what we do the only way is up

In the United Kingdom the growing cost of energy has dominated the news. People must now pay significantly more for gas and electricity (and fuel oil and portable gas) than most of them ever expected to pay. The average fuel bill for a UK home is now £1350 each year. More and more people are being driven into fuel poverty and more and more people have to economise on energy. Continue reading

How to Confuse a Cat

The simple way to confuse any cat (or human being) is to ask the cat to choose an energy tariff in the UK. Continue reading

What! Energy companies making false representations!

When Mrs Thatcher de-nationalised the electricity and gas suppliers she did so in the hope that energy prices would fall with competition and that the energy companies would be slimmer, trimmer and provide a more efficient service to their customers. Most of the public’s minds were fixed upon the short term effect of denationalisation of the utilities. Many people bought shares in the companies that were being denationalised and sold them fairly rapidly after having bought them at a risk free and in most cases tax free profit. That short term profit mattered much more to people in the 1980s than where energy would be twenty five or thirty years later. Continue reading

Energy, monopolies and cartels

 The ambition of every business is to become a monopoly, if it cannot achieve that, its ambition will be to become part of a cartel. The ambition of every government should be to prevent monopolies and to outlaw cartels.  A business having a monopoly or being part of a cartel enables it to make profits without any market mechanism to restrain those profits. It can charge what it likes and its owners will live a life of great riches. Continue reading