Monday, 17 October 2011

Warm words from David Cameron

When Margaret Thatcher privatised electricity companies it was supposed to make the companies competitive. There would be improvements in efficiency and it was a win-win situation. I had my reservations then and I definitely have them now that David Cameron is telling us to shop around. Prices are going up because of world energy prices but David tells us that we have to find ways of keeping prices down. I wished that I understood the tariffs and which company was best for me but I can't say that I do.

The argument for energy costs is a bit like the argument for good education. We don't want choice, we just want good local education, or in the case of energy, we just want a cheap supply. We don't want children transported from one part of town to another while other children are being transported in the opposite direction. As for electricity, it all comes from the same place, it is just a matter of which company we have to pay.

If the companies are spending their money on advertising and getting a profit, and we are spending our time changing suppliers then it must be an inefficient system. Not only is it inefficient but I have to wonder if I am failing to get the best price. Am I getting a fair deal? I don't know as I am also told that there is a lack of transparency from these companies.

It is one thing to have a prime minister tell us to get the best deals from the privatised companies. It is another to get a prime minister to give us the most efficient system to get the best price. I can't help thinking that that system was pre-Margaret Thatcher.

Change the world


  1. This might be to straight thinking for our "coalition government"....but they should make energy companies state the bottom line...e.g company X might look a better deal than company Y...but what are their conditions? The terms and conditions should be equal across the board...including "change-over fees".
    I know that is too simplistic to be enforced..but that is what we as consumers want

  2. I received an email today telling me that I would get £50 off my next bill if I buy my energy from them. Do they get this back by charging me more? Do they pay their shareholders less? Do they employee their staff on worse terms and conditions so that I can get my £50. They didn't tell me in the email.