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Friday, October 26, 2012


they say there are only two things in life that are certain: death and taxes.

we all know how wrong that statement is.

why just recently we have had one of the more modern certainties of life kick in.
winter is here and the energy companies are increasing their prices. again. like they did last year at winter and like they will do next year. the same excuses are trotted out the increasing wholesale costs or the government’s drive to make the energy companies more efficient. this means prices have to go up in order that their profits go up.

so much for competition and efficiencies – instead of one large profitable company under the control of the state we have six large energy companies are highly profitable and socially suspect.
funny enough a few days back the daily telegraph had a piece in it about how it is time to stop bashing business (though to be honest i thought the only people who were fair game were those in the financial services: you know the ones who got us into this mess).

angelaknight, chief executive of energy uk, said “the energy industry has a big role to play in powering the economy,” (a clever pun) and that “profit is a good thing not a bad thing” she continues to say that the high level of criticism was damaging energy providers.
ironically this was said before most of the price hikes had been announced by the energy companies.
she is right profit is normally a good thing; it isn’t when all you are doing is putting up the price of your basic service. it is not like the energy companies aren’t aware of the issues surrounding wholesale costs or the medium term fragility of supply, it appears it is easier for them to hike the prices up, trouser the profit and pass the blame on to others than for them to do what any responsible business would do: invest.

it isn’t that people don’t like business – it is just we are aware that in some cases they will, as regular as clockwork, trot out the same excuses and with the same results of hikes in prices for a service that doesn’t get better. we also know that when people like ms knight talk about powering the economy and generating (see i can do it too) profits they are not concerned about how that benefits the average person in the street – they are only interested in how it affects their shareholders and potential future shareholders.

meanwhile we will just have to grin and bear this new regular certainty of annual prices accompanied by the spin of people who would just be as happy telling you it is raining outside as they piss on your head.

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