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back to article EDF: We'll raise bills 11% - but only 2% is due to energy costs!

EDF Energy is the latest of the UK's Big Six energy suppliers to announce brutal price rises, in this case an increase no less than 10.8 per cent - yet the company openly admits that energy prices would call for a 2 per cent rise at most. Why on Earth does the firm think it's OK to implement a price rise almost six times that …

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Anonymous Coward

So that free cavity wall and loft insulation is paid for by me!

Well done. Very well done!

You couldn't get anyone to insulate their homes. You offer "Free" insulation and take up rockets.

So in reality, I have paid for my insulation, and then some.

Sneeky like an apple apology or any tory policy.

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Anonymous Coward

@Obviously

"So that free cavity wall and loft insulation is paid for by me!"

Yes. But at least energy customers get the benefit from the levy on their bill. But with renewables, only the owner of the generating plant benefits.

And as of next year, the steaming pile of ordure that is "Green Deal" is coming in, under which insulating your house won't be cheap or free, but will be at full commercial cost, recovered through your electricity bill with an 8% loan. It's a stinker. And I say that as somebody who is employed in a role very close to the scheme, hence AC.

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the solution is once more here http://community.discovery.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7501919888/m/24319443111

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Unhappy

Once again

said before and saying it again. We need to find a new way to generate electricty not find not fuels for turbines.

Surely the boffinry out there have some ideas?

Besides, and no one talks about this, private companies exist to increase, or at the very least maintain, shareholder value. Doesn't matter if you shave your consumption to the wire where every milliWatt is a prisoner, your fuel bills will go UP. Now you don't see anyone talking about that! Why?

The solution? Move power station/generation to Public domain? Have the Government seize power generation from the foreign nationals on the grounds of national security?

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Re: Once again

"We need to find a new way."

http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/10/23/the-case-for-near-term-commercial-demonstration-of-the-integral-fast-reactor/#more-5949

Well here is Professor Barry Brook, who is currently at the 2012 World Energy Forum together with several more well-respected boffins. He continues to make a powerful case for nuclear generation, with Gen IV reactors burning up plutonium and other long-lived waste.

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hopefully a wake-up call from our mass delusion

maybe this will be a wakeup call to politicians and the idiots at the bbc, but don’t hold your breath

co2 is not poison - co2 is good for life - in any case amount is tiny 0.039 %

most warming affect has already been done - does not increase linearly because of saturation of spectrum affected by co2

water vapour is main greenhouse gas 80%+ not co2

warm periods good for humans - ice age bad !

90% of ocean volume is below 2 degrees centigrade – ice age risk/damage much worse than a degree or 2 warmer - such as experienced roman times when populations grew fast before crashing in following colder periods

climate models are a joke - too many variables therefore impossible with current tech - we can’t predict the weather in 5 days let alone 50 years

the cycles that appear most regular all point towards cooling - not warming - logically therefore we should encourage warming not the opposite!

one thing I can predict for sure is - in 50 years our children will wonder what on earth we were all on – they will wonder why did we behave so idiotically - building pointless stupid windmills, putting pathetically inefficient yet expensive solar cells on our roofs in the grey cold cloudy uk - whilst half of the planets still suffers dreadful poverty – whilst most of us struggle to pay huge tax burdens imposed by our politicians - who have no idea how to make anything of value - but who are masters at dreaming up more and more idiotic ways of spending our hard earned money

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Every country needs a steady stream of electricity. More in the winter or when Coronation Street has an advert and all the kettles go on. Power stations are the only method for providing this. Unless someone suddenly invents a super battery that can store huge amounts of energy created over the short time that tidal or wind power creates they are never ever going to be viable alternatives handling more than 5% of the any countries demand. As demand grows they become even less of a viability. As Oil has a limited lifespan we are left with coal or Nuclear. We could dig up the coal ( the UK has a LOT of this but again its finite) and cause the atmosphere more damage or we can do the right thing and build some Nuclear plants. No matter how green you are or how much you think its the right thing to do it just isn't viable and we could never build enough wind farms or wave machines to keep up with the huge demand that is increasing all of the time. Until we can invent cheap unlimited energy we should ensure that we can provide for the next 20 years or the cost we are paying will just keep climbing as resources fall.

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mashup

Don't fixate on the "billions" that the energy companies make. They are large corporations that service many customers. A better gauge of their health is the net profit as a percentage of gross. If it's 50%, go ahead and chastise them. If it's 20%, they are a healthy, well run company. If it's 5%, their accountants have found some very good off-shore tax havens and can cook the books very well. Those are the guys I want figuring my tax returns.

The "Social" costs are probably the corporate fascination and utter waste of time of employing people to develop and maintain Facebook pages and a presence on "Social" media sites. I've always wondered why electricity companies advertise. In the US, you really don't have a choice, so advertising doesn't accomplish anything. The same for sponsorship of concert and sports venues.

Thorium LFTR reactors are very promising but have incomplete development. The Chinese will go live with their LFTR test reactor in 2013. I'm sure they will be happy to license the patents to the rest of the world when they have a proven system ready. Not that the Chinese respect anyone else's patents. Pressurized Water Reactors, breeders of almost all designs that I know of and Fast reactors all have safety issues. Most of the issues are well contained and understood. The problem is when you run into the political dictates that lead to Fukishima's disastrous cock up of putting the backup generators in harms way against the recommendations of competent engineers, plants located on flood plains and other stupidity. Coal power plants put out more radioactivity than nuke plants ever have. Slag piles are filthy with radiation.

Petrol is not used for commercial power generation! The news media and other idiots always talk about lessening dependence on imported oil by reducing electrical usage. The only power plants that use petroleum are old, used only as emergency back up and are being converted to run on natural gas or being torn out.

Natural gas is not "clean". It is cleaner than coal, but that really isn't saying a whole lot. Burning hydrocarbons produces CO2. Natural gas isn't any different. Incomplete combustion of CH4 leads to the whole cast of nasty oxides you get with every thing else.

Good news: Engineers in the UK are very talented. I watched a show on the national grid and was impressed about a story of pumped storage. When there is too much wind power being generated, the power is used to pump water uphill into reservoirs. Need a burst of power, open the gates at the hydro plant; generating and supplying the grid in 30 seconds. Yeah, yeah it's not super efficient, but it's simple, works and what the hell, the power isn't doing anything else. There's a grid sized battery that we have the technology for now. Let's build more. The added bonus is that we can restrict the flow of fresh water into the sea.

In the US there are also some good ideas on what to do with surplus wind power or generation at sites that are inconveniently far from users. Take some water and some air, apply the Haber-Bosch process and you have ammonia. A nice convenient liquid that can be used as a cleaning agent, a fertilizer and the feed stock for di-methyl-ester, a substitute for diesel. We'll just down play ammonia's use in explosives. There are studies that show that producing ammonia with wind turbines can be more profitable than selling the electricity to the grid.

I don't want to see power companies get nationalized. That would throw a spanner into the works worse than the greed of the corporate bosses. There is also a good case of not leaving electricity to twist in the wind of market forces, speculation and the aforementioned corporate greed. All I know is that electricity (energy, if you want an all encompassing term) is vital to the health of an economy. I should say that steady and consistent cost for electricity is healthy for an economy. Small increases from time to time can be absorbed, but large swings create problems.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to an energy policy. It will take a whole menu of generation, storage and supply technologies. There always seems to be loads of argument that one technology or another will not work in a certain area or won't fulfill all of the future needs, but there doesn't need to be ONE technology to fit everything. Solar where solar will work, wind where there is wind, tidal power, geothermal, nuclear, natural gas and even coal. I'm not opposed to putting prison inmates in giant hamster wheels connected to generators. Whatever works.

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Ho hum - Dinorwig doesn't scale

Well, it could, but we'd need to flood most of the Scottish highlands to cover wind doldrums.

While you might find some people in favour of that, oddly enough the locals don't like the idea.

Although Salmond might as it's one way the Scottish could afford independence, rather like Labour and the ConDems on wind and PV - hell bent on it regardless of cost or feasibility.

Presumably it's a political thing - get into politics and your brain is surgically removed, making you incapable of considering consequences beyond the next election.

The next Parliament is going to be seriously ****ed though, as that seems to be when the lack of energy security is likely to come home to roost.

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There is no case or point in promoting ANY new energy technology which does not outperform the present best and cleanest ( eg natural gas produced by fracking)

The hard pressed public has a right and duty to punish ANY politician who by his policy avoidably raises the cost of energy for households.

Renewable energy sources are unreliable and require heavy subsidisation by legalised Governmental theft ( ie hidden subsidies and price rises).. When these sources are naturally as inexpensive, independent of foreign suppliers, and as reliable as gas, let us consider them, Until that day, their political/ideogical proponents should be ejected from public office of any kind. We can no longer afford to tolerate fools and knaves in charge of our lives.

Such dishonesty is a characterisitic of politicians in general and of "Green" ones in particlar, since their true agenda is NOT the welfare of millions of human beings, but the creation of a new class of impoverished subjects, over whom they may prevail as a self imposed elite..

They must be made to pay the price of rejection and ostracism by an oppressed public. It is no good waiting until revolution is the only cure.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent

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There will be more people in fuel poverty, surely?

I have to take issue with the statement: "Nothing much has changed in the area of social-inclusion schemes as applied to the energy market: various disadvantaged groups (old folk on low incomes, for instance) still exist and still get cheaper energy which the rest of us pay for through increases on our bills, but there aren't suddenly more of these people...".

On the contrary, as windmills drive up the price of electricity, there will of course be more people falling into fuel poverty (ie spending >10% of their household income on fuel) and qualifying for help under the social inclusion schemes, namely the Warm Homes Discount and the Community Energy Savings Programme. This latter provides energy efficiency services such as installing new boilers and heating appliances, along with loft and cavity wall insulation.

The Big Five energy companies are obliged to fund this huge industry under the terms of the Energy Act 2010, and of course they pass on their costs to the diminishing number of customers who are not yet in fuel poverty -- namely hard-working families.

I wonder whether people are aware of the underlying government deception here. The inordinate cost of renewable energy, the relief of fuel poverty and the subsidies on insulation and boilers are in effect a fuel tax, and then there is 5% VAT on top of that. Thus the government gets away without increasing VAT, welfare benefits or expenditure on its climate change policies, and the Big Five energy companies get the blame for profiteering.

All this so that David Cameron (whose father-in-law makes a packet in rent for the wind farm on his land) can announce to the world that the UK has the most stringent carbon reduction targets in the world. Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There will be more people in fuel poverty, surely?

"The Big Five energy companies are obliged to fund this huge industry under the terms of the Energy Act 2010, and of course they pass on their costs to the diminishing number of customers who are not yet in fuel poverty -- namely hard-working families."

See post above that refers to Green Deal. CERT and CESP come to an end this year, and are replaced by the ECO (wanky new abbreviation for energy company obligation), but that's going to help even fewer people.

The fundamental problem here is not energy prices, they're high for a reason, and if you don't like it you have to use less. This is what government think with middle income people like me. For the selected poor, they don't like that outcome. So they want to stop the market working. Many might agree with that, but the way to fix that is not for DECC to fuck around with the energy market, but for the government to fix the broken welfare system. Why should poor people get money from complicated, expensive to adminster schemes in the power industry, when there's already mechanisms in place to dole out money to them from the government?

If companies have to hand things free to the poor, let's hand out fixed volumes of power to them from the energy companies, free water (paid for by other cusotmers) food vouchers from Tesco (paid for by Tesco's other customers), bus passes (paid for by the bus companies other customers). And then we can stop the dole altogether.

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Re: There will be more people in fuel poverty, surely?

"CERT and CESP come to an end this year, and are replaced by the ECO". At least the name "Energy Company Obligation" says what it is, and so should be transparent. Its abbreviation ECO, however, sounds so green and fuzzy that people won't see it for what it is -- privatised welfare -- and I rather suspect the term "Energy Company Obligation" was chosen for this reason.

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Anonymous Coward

EDF sold off their distribution system to a HK company for £B6, so Tough Titty they can't control the distribution costs

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I love UK Power Networks :)

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World's largest* nuclear electricity producer has a go at renewables...

Who would have thought?

Well clearly not Lewis, although I wouldn't put it past him to conveniently ignore it.

*OK not 100% sure there, but the world's largest electricity producer according to 2010 figures, that mostly generates electricity from nuclear technology, and keeps on pushing for nuclear.

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"The other 9 per cent, the great bulk of the increase, is mostly down to "renewable, energy efficiency and social schemes" and partly from "transmission and distribution charges"."

But green energy is more expensive than "regular" energy, at least the Green energy I have looked into supplying my home with, so why should the buyers of "regular" energy offset this, if green energy is, in most cases, twice as expensive as "regular" energy???

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lots of shouting here, as usual

There is more milage in energy efficiency than in alternative energy supplies - and the pathologocal aversion to nuclear is resulting in enormous wastage - perfectly viable fueal sources are considered "spent" because they contain plutonium.

Much as I _want_ wind and solar to work, I can't see how they can unless there's much more investment in storage systems (how about small float batteries in houses to cater to surges like putting the kettle on?) and dynamic load control down to the level of shutting down domestic appliances during load peaks.

The current setup is a recipe for pain because of the massive infrastructuere overbuild required, along with rapid-start generation capacity. There's no way a coordinated approach will happen with 50 different groups all pulling in different directions - and is this last item which is raising costs without getting anything worthwhile in return.

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cartel

There is a cartel operating in a pretty much essential commodity. I am surprised that 10% seems to be the max these folk think they can get away with, they really aren't trying hard enough.

But then again, I suppose it equates to 10% rise every 4 months or so... so over all in a year its pretty good.

There really is only one answer and that is the one that the rich landed folk in government (including Labour, LibDem and Conservative) won't implement. The one answer would be to renationlise these companies. That way they may continue to make excessive profit but it would go to the exchequer and off our tax bill. They might even invest in ensuring energy supply for the future. Hell, if the government is in charge they might even reconsider bending over and letting the EU screw our energy supply by demanding the closure of perfectly good power stations. One last thing for the doubters - even if the company manages to become 'inefficient' by employing 10x the staff they do now and those people just wander around with a spanner in their pocket it will mean we pay less tax as we will have less unemployed - and if this is a UK government company it is possible to expect (ok, we it is possible to dream) that the people it employs and the tools, machines and buildings are BRITISH instead of French or German. And we will stop subsidising French and German power (including the power supplied to their business - i.e. if you are a Vauxhall plant in the UK you will be paying more than the BMW plant in Munich for your German owned energy so strangely won't be as competitive as your German counter part.

Nationalisation is the ONLY option that makes sense.

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Other costs of high energy

The cost of production of any realistic manufactured goods is:

Energy

Machinery costs

Finance costs for the machinery and late paid bills

Land

Factory buildings

with people coming a long way further down the page.

The ridiculous cost of energy is crippling any chance of recovery in our manufacturing companies. Worse the energy companies are all foreign so do better deals for their own country,

As for greenhouse gasses, lets look at where my contribution comes from... the drive to and from the office, the office lights, heating, air conditioner (both on all the time, in a poorly built and poorly insulated building with several acres of non-double glazed windows, no roof insulation and masses of room below my feet and above my head), the lights in the bathrooms, corridors and reception area. The amount I produce at home with my heating is trivial by comparison.

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Flame

How to lie with statistics

If you actually look at the relevant figures, which are not even in the footnotes to the press release but on <a href="http://www.edfenergy.com/products-services/for-your-home/customer-commitments/what-

makes-up-bill.shtml">this web page</a>, which is cited (thought not actually linked) in the footnotes.

The cost of environmental and social schemes may have increased by 50%, but this is from a base of 4% (for gas) or 8% (for electricity) of the cost to the consumer. The transmission costs have apparently risen by 9% on a basis of 25% (for gas) or 22% (for electricity). So the contributions to the overall increase are pretty similar, and appear to leave something of a gap still to be explained.

To get from this to 'The other 9 per cent, the great bulk of the increase, is mostly down to "renewable, energy efficiency and social schemes" and partly from "transmission and distribution charges".' is quite a leap, rather than simply a restatement "in other words".

So we have a self-serving EDF press release reported by a journalist with an axe to grind. Just as well no-one is actually reading it instead of trotting out the same comments they make on every other article on energy or climate change.

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Anonymous Coward

Gas and leccy prices

Prices are getting dangerously close to the point where I would be better off heating my home and running my servers from a generator running on cherry. Sure I'd feel a little bad about the thin layer of soot raining down on my neighbours all day long, but all but two of them run diesel cars so it would balance out.

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Here's a quiz...

Private companies are queuing up to put private money into building nuclear power stations because they know they will get their money back when they go on stream.

Wind farms and solar installers are holding their hands out for sponsorship from your taxes and your power bills.

Which works best for you?

Everybody who downvotes needs to be made to sit in the dark until the wind blows...but not too hard.

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