It came as no surprise that British Gas, the latest of the Big Six energy companies to hike its prices, found itself the recipient of a furious backlash this week. There’s plenty to be angry about: one in four households now regularly choose between heating and eating; 7,200 people died last year because they were unable to heat their homes; while energy minister Ed Davey’s solution to fuel poverty is to advise people to “wear a jumper”.
Fuel poverty is mobilising people to seek alternatives to the corporate control of energy (the Big Six control 99% of our domestic gas and electricity supply). Following the latest round of price hikes, the announcement of mega-profits and eye-watering chief executive pay, the companies’ claims that they have no obligation to keep the lights on is fertile ground for civil disobedience.
Following that Teenage Trot boilerplate the suggestion is that we should use higher priced power from renewables. Thus increasing fuel poverty and the number of elderly who die each winter.
And yes, we do know that renewables and insulation and the whole greenie shebang are more expensive: that’s why we’ve got a problem in the first place. If it was all cheaper then we wouldn’t need the schemes and the subsidies and the laws and the regulations. That we do have them is proof perfect of the contention that the plan is indeed more expensive.
So, the actual demand is that we must make things cheaper by making them more expensive. At which point we need to tell this fool to make up her mind.
Assuming she has one.