SKETCH: Energy Committee Lacking Energy, Power, Illumination

You’d pay quite a levy or premium on your fuel bill to wipe the smirk off their management faces.

It wasn’t a grilling. Parliament couldn’t afford the fuel. It was a little light poaching. It was coddling.

Wither-ringing quote of the day from Labour’s Ian Lavery: “How can the profits be fair if people can’t afford to pay them!”

Faced with such a confused and under-informed committee (Energy and Climate Change) the energy bosses realised they could say anything they liked.

Transparency. Trust. Fairness. Profoundly regretting putting up any prices at any time. Our passionate people working their fingers to the bone to keep the lights on by investing, yes and re-investing everything they made back into this sceptre’d isle so that the poor, the disabled, the elderly, young people, differently-sexed people, women with skin issues, fish – wouldn’t have to choose between eating and heating.


The MPs read out one written question and then collapsed. It’s not clear they knew anything more about the energy market at the end of the session than at the beginning.

They make ignorance almost respectable.

Having said that, they had two hours to make a case.

Three of the big companies were sitting there like “a chorus line acting in concert” (Phillip Lee). They had put their prices up at the same time by the same amount and announced them in the same order, (Alan Whitehead). They sold power to their offshore owners cheaply and bought it back expensively. They were abusive predators raping the vulnerable (that vast natural resource John Robertson).

They were brilliant, global-quality obfuscators. “We’ve spent an hour sitting here trying to find out where you make your money. I’m still none the wiser” (all of them).

The rogue element among the power bosses was one Stephen Fitzpatrick from upstart Ovo Energy. Sporting a middle-age Mohawk, he gave his industry colleagues the sort of treatment the MPs could only aspire to. “You’ve all been trying to track down where the money has been going. But these are the best filibusters in the business.”

He said that the win-back scheme for defecting customers was a mark of the sector’s rottenness. When customers rang up to leave  they were immediately offered a 15 per cent reduction in their bills, as if to say, “We’ve been overcharging you for years, but only because you let us.”

Their regional market share was a legacy of the old nationalised industry, they were enjoying ex-monopoly advantages, and that Ofgem has almost entirely failed to tegulate them properly. These managers were “very clever, giving complex, confusing answers, so the only answer is more competition.”

He also slipped in a pretty good sales pitch.  “We hope to make 5 per cent profit and yet our prices are 12 per cent lower.” (www.ovoenergy.com)

The main finding.

The committee needs a complete overhaul. A somnolent chair, incoherent questioning, and MPs in such data-poverty they’re forced to choose between thinking and drinking.



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Out of the bubble prole Andy Burnham tells Mumsnet

“I’m afraid I’m going to depress you all by saying that I don’t have a sweet tooth and don’t eat biscuits… Give me a beer and chips and gravy any day.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH: LAS VEGAS EDITION ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH: LAS VEGAS EDITION
DIANE ABBOTT FORGETS SHE DIDN’T THINK CORBYN COULD WIN DIANE ABBOTT FORGETS SHE DIDN’T THINK CORBYN COULD WIN
NATWEST’S ONLINE BANKING CRASHES ON PAYDAY NATWEST’S ONLINE BANKING CRASHES ON PAYDAY
OWEN JONES: LIE-RA OWEN JONES: LIE-RA
GMB UNION SUE UBER GMB UNION SUE UBER
Who Will Be UKIP’s Mayoral Candidate? Who Will Be UKIP’s Mayoral Candidate?

Meanwhile, in Venezuela… Meanwhile, in Venezuela…
TWITTER EMPLOYEES JUMP FROM SINKING SHIP TWITTER EMPLOYEES JUMP FROM SINKING SHIP
Times Trolls Burnham Times Trolls Burnham
CHAMPAGNE SOCIALISTS BACK CORBYN CHAMPAGNE SOCIALISTS BACK CORBYN
SINN FEIN SHOULD “TAKE INSPIRATION” FROM ARMED UPRISING SINN FEIN SHOULD “TAKE INSPIRATION” FROM ARMED UPRISING
ALL CHANGE AT GREEN PARTY HQ ALL CHANGE AT GREEN PARTY HQ
I Can’t Believe He’s Not Tory! I Can’t Believe He’s Not Tory!
UBER DESTROYING RACIST TAXI INDUSTRY UBER DESTROYING RACIST TAXI INDUSTRY
Could Labour Fall Apart Under Corbyn? Could Labour Fall Apart Under Corbyn?
Hilarious Prankster Hilarious Prankster
GREENPEACE LIVID GREENPEACE LIVID
Did Labour Leadership Candidates Smoke Dope? Did Labour Leadership Candidates Smoke Dope?
Another Andy Flip Flop Another Andy Flip Flop
Clegg Whores Himself Out Clegg Whores Himself Out
RETURN OF THE FRACKERS, CUADRILLA TO APPEAL RETURN OF THE FRACKERS, CUADRILLA TO APPEAL
FLASHBACK: TORY WHIP ON SCANDAL INVOLVING “SMALL BOYS” FLASHBACK: TORY WHIP ON SCANDAL INVOLVING “SMALL BOYS”
“Owen Jones is the 1%” “Owen Jones is the 1%”
Jedward Told to “F**k Off” By Indy Staff Jedward Told to “F**k Off” By Indy Staff
CLIMATE LOBBY DRAFT ARNIE CLIMATE LOBBY DRAFT ARNIE
MOD FORCED TO FIGHT RUSSIAN AGGRESSION… WITH TWEETDECK MOD FORCED TO FIGHT RUSSIAN AGGRESSION… WITH TWEETDECK
Mental Marxists: Tories Will Gas the Poor Mental Marxists: Tories Will Gas the Poor
MONEYBAGS BURNHAM TRAILS DESPITE SIX FIGURE FUNDING BONANZA MONEYBAGS BURNHAM TRAILS DESPITE SIX FIGURE FUNDING BONANZA
ROLL CALL OF LABOUR ‘MORONS’ ROLL CALL OF LABOUR ‘MORONS’