We’ve had a policy in place for some 12 months now, to stop finding and submitting new wind sites into planning in England and instead to focus our efforts on Scotland – for the reasons set out in the article, it’s become very difficult in England, to the point that we were wasting time and money to a degree we could no longer accept. (more…)
I was doing an interview for ITV’s Tonight programme a couple of weeks ago, the show went out last night. I’ve not seen it yet, and don’t know what parts made it to the final cut, but it was a good discussion and it left me feeling that I should try and pull together the main elements of that conversation – they seemed so relevant and current.
The central thrust of the questioning was about the cost of green energy, or green crap as Cameron infamously has it – its impact on our energy bills and whether it’s the right thing to do as energy bills continually rise and become more unaffordable. It’s essentially the narrative of a number of politicians and media outlets of the past months and years – and it’s based on myth and propaganda more than fact. (more…)
I’d like to introduce a new member of the Ecotricity Team – Jodie. She’s only been with us a couple of weeks as a Teleservices Assistant, but is already getting stuck in and has proposed to treat us all to some of her vegan recipes in support of Meat Free Mondays and World Vegan Month. It’s great to be in a team of people that are so passionate about making a difference. We’re giving Jodie a regular Monday slot on here for the month (and possibly beyond!), so without further ado, I’ll hand over to Jodie.
My interest in food and cooking began at a young age. I grew up as a vegetarian for much of my life, and lived in a bus with my parents for the most part of my early childhood. My unconventional interest in food stemmed largely from my Mother who was an innovative, resourceful and talented cook. Her Jewish heritage and nomadic background gave us a wide ranging experience of different culinary traditions with a focus on fresh, unprocessed ingredients. It’s fair to say I have pretty much learnt everything I know about cooking from her. (more…)
May you live in interesting times is the apocryphal Chinese curse supposedly reserved for one’s enemies. In the energy industry right now, we certainly do.
The referral of the sector to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is just the latest interesting scene in a long running drama. It’s a drama that really began twenty years ago with privatisation: an experiment that has failed to deliver (like all privatisations, arguably) and is clearly not up to the very significant challenges ahead. (more…)
In amongst all the hoo ha of the last few weeks, about rising energy bills and Big Six profiteering – we’ve frequently heard about people who struggle to pay their energy bills, lower income households, the fuel poor.
Sometimes in the context of what Cameron calls ‘green levies’ – the social elements of that melting pot being the ECO scheme (insulation for lower income homes) and the Warm Home Discount (lower bills for older people). We’ve also heard how 30k people are expected to die this winter due to being unable to afford to heat their homes. And of course politicians of all hues have professed their concern for that and the affordability of energy more generally, which impacts most on the less well off among us.
The Big Six have social obligations in this regard, which require them to spend considerable sums each year – though this week the key one, ECO, was watered down (cut in half) and the Warm Homes one seems destined to move into general taxation.
But on the other hand, they appear to have been ripping off those same households – well at least any of them that use a Pre Payment Meter (which I think will be most of them).
There are some four million homes in Britain with a Pre Payment Meter (PPM) for electricity and three million for gas. And they pay the highest prices for their energy of anyone in this country – on average 6% or £80 per year more, for dual fuel, than a customer paying by Direct Debit. (more…)
It’s been a crazy few weeks in the Energy sector, nobody could have missed that.
The issue of rising energy bills comes up at the start of most winters it seems – but it did so with a real bang this year. Ed Miliband kicked things off with his pledge to freeze bills, the Big Six joined in by putting them up – and threatening blackouts if Ed tries it – and David Cameron rounded things off with his own contribution – which was to point the finger at ‘Green levies’ and pledge to roll them back.
Good stuff as the panto season approaches… 🙂 Or is it more than that?
The Green levies that Cameron is targeting, 60% of which his government imposed, have had a lot of media exposure – from the usual suspects, following the usual narrative; green energy is expensive, ineffective and is at the root of rising energy bills (I think that sums it up fairly). Oh no – I missed out the Climate Change isn’t real anyway bit…
But calling these costs green isn’t right, not quite honest. The biggest among them (at £47) is a scheme to put energy efficiency measures into lower income households – it’s a social measure known by it’s acronym ECO (Energy Company Obligation), which no doubt aids confusion. (more…)
Images of people protesting against Fracking this summer brought back a host of memories for me. I’ve done some protesting in my time. Most notably as part of a group that occupied the USAF base at Molesworth, for a year or so, to prevent the siting of cruise missiles there. Our eventual eviction, by more squaddies than it took to take Goose Green, made the back page of the Guardian, and I remember coming face to face with Michael Heseltine as he stepped off his chopper in flak jacket and make-up ready for the TV cameras – who could forget that.
The Americans never did station their cruise missiles at Molesworth and I’d like to think that what we did played a part in that – but who can know. (more…)
Ed Miliband made a headline grabbing speech this week – the bit that grabbed my attention, and that of much of the media, was the promise to freeze energy prices for 20 months and ‘reset the energy market’.
It’s hard to argue with the premise that there’s something wrong with the energy market – the mostly foreign owned privatised Oligopoly that has a 97% market share and perhaps an inversely proportional share of public trust.
I believe that there’s a fundamental mismatch between the needs of society and those of private companies. A clash between the need to re-invest and the need to pay dividends. I think privatisation is therefore at the root of the problem. It worked well enough while the new private energy companies could operate (quite profitably) the assets built by public money, but stumbles when those assets need renewal. (more…)
It’s an interesting date and I’m a fan of it. Partly I suppose because I’m ‘anti superstitious’.
And partly because it’s the date of two important birthdays; of a son and a windmill.
Friday the 13th of December 1996 – is a day I remember well, the day we installed our very first windmill after a five-year planning battle. The year Ecotricity got going.
They don’t come often, but there’s another Friday the 13th December coming this year, 17 years later – and that first windmill is still going strong.
As is Ecotricity.
Our mission remains the same: to turn our customers’ Bills into Mills and change where Britain’s energy comes from.
And this year we made big strides in that direction, with planning permission to build one of the biggest wind parks in England. It’s big enough to almost double our current fleet of windmills – matching the last 17 years’ work in one go. And it’ll make a significant contribution to Britain’s energy independence, powering almost 40,000 homes for the next 25 years.
That’s Bills into Mills at its best yet.
There are two other big changes this year. (more…)
This blog is about answers to the big questions - how will we keep the lights on, what kind of cars will we drive (will we drive?) and how will we feed ourselves - in a post oil world, and a world where we can't afford to keep burning things and throwing things away. Energy, Transport and Food are the three big issues.