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Darkman

Ecotricity Boss Calls For Energy Industry To Be Renationalised

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Watchdogs are set to announce the biggest-ever investigation into Britain’s energy sector. Regulator Ofgem is expected to refer the industry to the Competition and Markets Authority any day now.

And the 18-month probe could result in Britain’s Big Six energy firms being broken up.

Today Dale Vince, the boss of independent supplier Ecotricity, argues that former Tory PM Margaret Thatcher’s push to privatise the energy industry has spectacularly failed.

And he backs calls for the power firms to be renationalised...

I wonder what thoughts you have on this? The forum seems more right than left to me, but few would argue energy companies today work in the public's best interest.

Personally I don't think the industry should ever have been privatised and "let loose" in the way it has been.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fuel-poverty-energy-firm-boss-3766357

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It's been clear for years that the power companies' need to please their shareholders with big dividends far outweighs their need to keep customer prices down. Renationalise what is, IMPO, a strategic resource.

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One problem is regulatory capture. Regulators are too close to the industries they regulate.

Fuel bills are going to soar over the next few decades. I think that energy costs for households will quadruple by 2030 (partly because we have already been warned they will triple).

When you buy a house, buy a VERY energy-efficient one.

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IMO, unless there is scope for genuine competition, a utility or service should not be privatised.

It simply isnt possible to have real competition for energy. I switch supplier - now what? Is my house plugged into a different power station?

The same with trains - There is only 1 train run by 1 company that runs between points A and B. What choice do I have?

Water - I cant even nominally switch my supplier FSS.

Privatisation worked well with telecoms and very well for mobile telecoms because there is genuine competition driving up value for customers. But even so, regulators have to step in and break cartel-esque behaviour by the suppliers.

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It's been clear for years that the power companies' need to please their shareholders with big dividends far outweighs their need to keep customer prices down. Renationalise what is, IMPO, a strategic resource.

You've nailed it.

Citeh rentiers are reliant on a constant cash stream from every family in the country.

Privatised 'utility' cos provide them with just that. They'd never accept it.

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IMO, unless there is scope for genuine competition, a utility or service should not be privatised.

It simply isnt possible to have real competition for energy. I switch supplier - now what? Is my house plugged into a different power station?

The same with trains - There is only 1 train run by 1 company that runs between points A and B. What choice do I have?

Water - I cant even nominally switch my supplier FSS.

Privatisation worked well with telecoms and very well for mobile telecoms because there is genuine competition driving up value for customers. But even so, regulators have to step in and break cartel-esque behaviour by the suppliers.

I suppose the argument for electricity is that all the power stations chuck electricity into a general pool (sounds dangerous!) so you can switch in some sort of "virtual" arrangement. All power stations are feeding into the same grid after all.

There's occasionally some choice in trains (I'll get off a Transpennine train onto just about anything else even if it means an extra change) but it's rare and doesn't seem to affect anything.

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I keep on seeing comments like "energy companies aren't passing on reductions in wholesale prices to their customers".

Why would they?

Why should they?

Infrastructural monopolies supplying basic human needs, and privatisation, do not work together for the benefit of the consumer. This much should be evident and the key word is "monopolies". If you cannot create or stimulate a market then privatisation will not work in favour of the consumer.

And I don't just mean "market" at a retail level to present a faux-impression that there is one.

Fixed-line telecoms are another example. Back in 1984, the GPO was privatised to become BT. In 29 years the amount of money invested in the "last mile" network was nil. It was only in around 2012 that the first crumbs of money were spent on changing it into something resembling a telecommunications company by finally laying some fibre optic cable out to street cabinets to provide some semblance of modern, useful broadband services.

This will only work in some areas and even then only in the short to medium term because it is a weak stopgap solution, copper and aluminium phone lines are not good broadband conduits over any distance. At some stage we'll have to pay to have fibre run to premises. ("We", the taxpayer, not BT's shareholders)

It is still basically a telephone network. You could perhaps describe BT as a pension scheme first and foremost with a telephone company hanging off the end of it.

We, the taxpayer, underwrite BT's pension schemes - the "Crown Guarantee". This was included in the sell-off.

It is a weird hybrid - on the one hand it's privately owned but on the other hand, recognising that it is an infra monopoly, it was "regulated" - in terms of pricing among other things. None of this can or does work together.

And we're currently funnelling a billion pounds of taxpayer money into it to roll out that fibre-optic cable as it has the government over a barrel. As we do that, the incentive for private investment by others falls to nil - why compete with the State?

The logical conclusion is that the infrastructure - in the case of BT the ducts and poles - should be in public hands.

But the draw of a quick buck and places on BT's board was just too strong.

And we're all still paying for that.

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You've nailed it.

Citeh rentiers are reliant on a constant cash stream from every family in the country.

Privatised 'utility' cos provide them with just that. They'd never accept it.

It'll therefore never happen.

I understand Watchdog is having the CEO of NPower on next week. Might be worth wading through the inanities to watch that interview. :)

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When you buy a house, buy a VERY energy-efficient one.

One of my criteria is a decent area of south(ish)-facing roof. Solar panels will meet most of my needs short of sharp bursts of high power like boiling the kettle.

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One problem is regulatory capture. Regulators are too close to the industries they regulate.

Fuel bills are going to soar over the next few decades. I think that energy costs for households will quadruple by 2030 (partly because we have already been warned they will triple).

When you buy a house, buy a VERY energy-efficient one.

Why they probably go to the same clubs, and share a bed! :o

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One of my criteria is a decent area of south(ish)-facing roof. Solar panels will meet most of my needs short of sharp bursts of high power like boiling the kettle.

Yep, we have them ourselves. Most months our energy bill is under £15/month (don't have gas) - and I reckon a good portion of that is standing charge. Fairly confident the feed-in tariff will cover most of the rest.

Nowadays, the council tax is our highest bill apart from food. Managed to get the house downrated, but still close on £100/month.

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One problem is regulatory capture. Regulators are too close to the industries they regulate.

Fuel bills are going to soar over the next few decades. I think that energy costs for households will quadruple by 2030 (partly because we have already been warned they will triple).

When you buy a house, buy a VERY energy-efficient one.

Good advise......I bought a few eastern electricity shares when privatised.....small share holders were forced to sell out to hanson, we could not keep them had no choice but to sell.....most of the companies are now foreign owned, very few small shareholders hold any.....it was all a big con imo. ;)

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Good advise......I bought a few eastern electricity shares when privatised.....small share holders were forced to sell out to hanson, we could not keep them had no choice but t o sell.....most of the companies are now foreign owned, very few small shareholders hold any.....it was all a big con imo. ;)

Mr Renting is a very senior Grammar Nazi! :( As well as my arch-nemesis!

Report to Berlin now Herr Lesenstandartenfuehrer Renting! :unsure:

It was all a big con! You need an ideaology, when you put "common sense" down the toilet! :ph34r:

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