Power blackmail

There is talk of a competition committee investigation into the near monopoly powers of the big six energy firms. This sent the two main parties into a tailspin. Labour quickly claimed that Ed Miliband’s proposed policy of a price freeze was responsible, while the Tories denied this.

I would note that I have been critical of the policies of both the major parties on this issue. I think labour’s price freeze idea is unworkable, although the Tories ain’t much better with their plans to pay the French and Chinese to nationalise the UK nuclear industry, cutting funding to energy efficiency and a new dash for gas (hardly seems sensible given events in Crimea!).

However the response from the industry was to raise the thinly veiled threat of national blackouts by the boss of British gas and Centrica, if the big six’s cosy little cartel was threatened.

Now while I agree that there is an urgent need to come up with a workable energy policy in the UK. And a failure to do so has led to a lack of investment in the energy sector. However threatening already angry customers with a blackout is hardly up there with a strategy for winning friends and influencing people. And it also suggests that there is truth to these allegations (you know you’re over the target when you start taking flak and all that).

However what Centrica are implying is that for purely ideological reasons they will renege on their responsibilities to provide power and invest in infrastructure and thus they are in violation for their franchise agreement (which gives them the right to operate). Hence I would argue that they either the bosses of these company’s should resign at once and the company distance themselves from his comments. Or both British Gas and Centrica should have their franchises revoked and be re-nationalised.


One thought on “Power blackmail

  1. I hate the energy companies with a passion – we should all refuse to pay our bills collectively – bring them down and nationalise them!
    I’m seriously thnking of buying a little bothy with no electric – that or moving to Thailand for 6 mths of the year!-you can live in Thailand for what bills in uk cost per month!


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