The day after Npowerbeat the government into submission with a record-breaking 10.9% price hike, ScottishPower eases the pressure down to a modest 8.6%. Well they would do wouldn’t they? Npower‘s shock-and-awe attack had already won the Big Six campaign. Any more would only add insult to injury and risk drawing attention to the £8.5m ScottishPower were ‘fined’ the day before yesterday for what many might call fraud and deception.
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? The implication that green levies brought in by the last Labour government are to blame for rising energy prices, subtly implanted in the backs of our minds a month ago, finally came into the open today when David Cameron joined up the dots. Dismissing Miliband as a “con man” for promising to freeze energy prices, Cameron sounded like he could have been reading from a script written by Energy UK:
Just one day after Npower‘s record 10.4% price hike you might have thought that this morning’s announcement by energy regulator, Ofgem, that Scottish Power is the third of the Big Six to be found guilty of misleading the public, with investigations against Npower and E.On still ongoing, would have been top of the BBC News headlines. So why wasn’t it? Why did it hardly get a mention? Why did it largely sink without a trace?
Less than a week after British Gas topped the energy price league, beating rivals SSE by a comfortable 12% margin to set a new high of 9.2%, Npower surges an extra 13% ahead of British Gas and a spectacular 27% ahead of SSE to set a new record of 10.4%
Why would any company want to do that? Competitors are supposed to win customers by lowering prices, not by driving them up! Unless they knew something the rest of us didn’t know: that by the time we’d struggled through the maze of tariffs we’d find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Just one week after SSE hiked energy bills up by 8.2%, British Gas outdoes them with a hike of 9.2%. That’s not how privatization is supposed to work. Companies are supposed to compete by lowering prices, not by pushing them up!
So how do British Gas account for this? Have they added an extra 50% on top of increased costs, as SSE did last week?
That much was already clear from our own analysis of the news over the past few weeks, but it’s nice to have it confirmed by a President of the Royal Society, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and a Baron no less!
But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the conspiracy goes much deeper than Lord Stern cares to admit. As the former Chief Economist of the World Bank he’s a member of the global elite, and there’s plenty of reasons why they might want to manipulate energy markets and mislead the public on a much wider scale.
Just two and a half weeks after energy industry lobbyists, Energy UK, threatened higher bills and power cuts and just three days after the National Grid joined forces with warnings of winter blackouts if investment isn’t increased, SSE is the first of the Big Six to puts the threats into action: hiking dual fuel bills a whopping 8.2% and slashing all investment in new power plants until after the next election.
Blaming government social and environmental levies for a third of the price hike, SSE‘s chief executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, told The Telegraph today that energy bills will keep on rising for the next decade, but would fall by £110 overnight if the levies were axed. Blaming the freeze in new investment on the “acute political uncertainty” around Labour’s threat to the Big Six‘s power, Phillips-Davies seems to be making us an offer we can’t refuse in a low tone of voice: accept the deal the Big Six are offering or we’ll have to punch your lights out! Continue reading SSE marks up their expenses by 50% – and they don’t call that profit!→
Today’s announcement that Labour will freeze household energy bills if they win the next election has the energy companies up in arms.
So how is television news reporting it? Are they presenting the facts accurately and impartially, as broadcasting regulations demand? Or are they presenting them in a way that makes one side appear more reasonable than the other?
Take Channel 4 News for example. They come over as being more down-to-earth, edgy and left-of-field than the BBC or Sky. If anyone is going to speak truth to the power companies it would be them. So how did they do?
Below is a rough-and-ready transcript of this evening’s Channel 4 News coverage of the disagreement between Labour and the Energy Companies, with my own thoughts as the debate unfolded in brackets below.