“We tend to live our daily lives wrapped up in cotton wool, thinking our politicians have it all sussed out for us.”
The ‘credit crunch’ taught us one thing. Governments, politicians and the big corporations are making it up as they go along, just like the rest of us. Putting our trust in self-interested and fallible governments can only take us all down a road we don’t want to travel.
Ultimately we were all responsible for our own financial decisions when the ‘credit crunch’ hit. We will also be responsible and affected by the decisions we make when the ‘energy crunch’ strikes.
When times were supposedly good, neither society nor the environment could take the strain of our ever-expanding economies which had a ravenous appetite for energy. Can we all not learn from the past?
Energy customers have seen prices rise year on year, with predictions of rising continuing year on year because of global wholesale competition. When the UK energy market was deregulated in 1998, it was argued that increased competition would keep down prices and force energy companies to improve on customer service. Neither has been delivered.
What we are seeing here is a market failure.
Oil spills by the major oil companies now seem to be an accepted regular occurrence with the North Sea now added to the list of oil spill calamities. These same companies are now eyeing up environmentally sensitive areas like the arctic and Antarctic regions. Talk about scrapping the proverbial barrel.
The fact that these energy companies can make fat profits while people continue to suffer with escalating costs means it was a grave mistake allowing private and foreign-owned companies to manage the UK’s energy supplies. The present pre-payment meter rates, which border on the exploitative, is proof of this.
In theory there is nothing wrong with private energy companies making profits. Profits can be an indication of efficiency, and revenues can be re-invested in new infrastructure to benefit the consumer and the nation, yet profits which arise from milking the consumer is simply unacceptable.
The solution is radical action to increase the numbers of players in the market and micro-generation systems, such as solar panels, for those who can afford to adopt. Breaking free from the current situation will force this market to at long last start working in the interests of consumers rather than the suppliers.
We may be powerless in the wider world’s energy shortcomings, but at least we can act at home and take responsibility for our own energy supply issues.
Governmental policy is slowly changing and benefits and incentives are now on offer to anyone wishing to generate their own energy within their own homes. The energy revolution is here and now, available to those who wish to reduce dependence on international and localised energy woes.
We are all on a road leading to an ‘energy crunch’.
Forewarned is forearmed.
"Feel the pride."
Stuart Lovatt on
Founder of Heat My Home.