I know the latest high profile announcements of energy price increases will have caused a lot of concern among residents worried about heating their homes this coming winter.
The energy market in this country is broken. Of the 14 major energy suppliers in 1997, only six now remain. This reduction in competition enabled the companies to increase their prices knowing customers had few other options.
I would be the first to admit the Coalition has done nowhere near enough to tackle this problem. Lid Dem Energy Secretaries have been entranced by the psiren call of green energy, determined to pass money from hard pressed customers to wind and solar farms they don’t even want!
No government can control the long term wholesale price of energy. But the government can and should reduce the green subsidies energy companies currently have to add to people’s bills.
Green energy has a place in Britain’s energy mix but it needs to be efficient and capable of performing without government support. While pensioners have to choose between eating or heating there is no excuse for making them subsidise inefficient forms of energy that cannot guarantee to keep the lights on.
The news this week about the construction of new nuclear plants will go some way to ending the madness. More should have been done sooner but as a country we have prevaricated on the issue of long term energy supplies for far too long.
A Royal Commission should be established with industry experts and representatives from all parties to produce a comprehensive national energy settlement for the generations to come.