Friday 19 August 2011

Important Information about your Energy Prices

I got one of those mails in the week - as soon as you see the title, you know it's not going to be good. And it certainly wasn't - my electricity will go up by over 7% and my gas by over 15%! I nearly choked! After all my efforts to insulate, cut back, track my usage, that is really going to hurt. Particularly given that I'd kind of assumed that, because my electricity was produced by wind farms (npower's Juice tariff) I wouldn't get hit so hard. Silly me...

Kerry pointed me at Ecotricity, who now sell gas as well as electricity, so as I track all my usage, I'll see what they can offer - they do seem to have healthy ethical and environment credentials so it's worth a look. The challenge will be if they're significantly more expensive, even with the hike in npower's prices.

It makes me think though, how much we're at the mercy of fluctuations in the price of energy. Did I say fluctuations? Seems like more of a ratchet mechanism, I don't remember them ever coming down (if anyone can tell me otherwise, please do!) I found this interesting report from the Department of Energy & Climate Change on UK energy - page 35 is the one to look at

Over the last ten years, between 1999 and 2009, real prices for domestic energy have risen by 60%, with the real price of electricity increasing by 45% and the real price of gas and heating oil increasing by 104% and 108% respectively.

If this is the case, isn't it about time we took responsibility ourselves for generating our own energy. I don't mean, of course, buying our own offshore oilrigs or anything like that, but there must be other options. Isn't it time we started thinking about community owned energy resources. Generated by the community, for the community.  If Transition Totnes can do it, so can we.

I think once the bees are up and running, next year sometime, this is going to be my next project!


1 comment:

  1. Yes, let's buy a community windmill!

    Ecotricity prices are linked to brown electricity prices, so they are also going up, but then as they charge the same as brown electricity and the extra money goes towards building more windmills, I'm not complaining.

    Incidentally, I wonder why it's called brown electricity, CO2 and methane are colorless (the bees would say infrared) and coal and oil are black.