The National Audit Office has predicted 17 years of above inflation rises in energy bills.
They conservatively also predict a 18% increase in energy prices in real terms by 2030. They particularly warn of how it will hit the poorest in society.
The Tory-led government has been stung by attacks from Labour and by the general anger shown by working class people about these bills. They have upped their rhetoric against the energy companies. The Lib Dem energy minister Ed Davey pleaded for energy companies to stop treating users like “cash cows”. The government now appears to be being blackmailed by some of the Big Six. EDF probably mindful of the public mood raised its prices by 3.9%. This is still above inflation but less then the 8-10% rises of 4 of the big six. However EDF also made a statement saying they would put prices up further if they don’t get their way on the cutting of Green Levies and Obligations. It looks like this blackmail of the government, also echoed by Npower, will pay off as George Osborne looks likely to scrap some of these obligations that subsidise renewable energy and insulation for the poor and vulnerable.
Meanwhile press reports state Npower is planning to make more then 2000 workers redundant. The company refuse to refute or confirm the reports and the Unions at Npower put out a statement condemning the lack of clarification that the workers are demanding.
The answer to this isn’t Ed Milibands price freeze but social ownership of energy under workers control.
Then the workers in the energy sector can lead the transition to non polluting energy generation.