Minister’s candour is good news for Green Gas

30th Apr 2018


Don’t tell them, but occasionally politicians say things with a candour that is refreshing. They say it as it is. This week Energy Minister Claire Perry did such a thing. In a debate about the Dieter Helm review she came out with two pearls of wisdom. So good, they should be framed in the office of every BEIS official and all-electric lobbyist.

The Minister said:-

I accept that renewable energy without the necessary level of battery, solid state or liquid storage will not keep the lights on and give us the hot showers we want, which is why I am such a proponent of gas, particularly clean gas, in the system in the future.

Network costs, which make up a quarter of dual fuel bills, have fallen 17% since privatisation, and the pressure is downwards on those.”

To paraphrase something I heard in 2010, “I agree with Claire.”

And such Ministerial honesty is needed. In the same week we had the latest UK energy stats produced – comparing Q1 2018 with Q1 2017 the figures state that electricity prices have risen by 11 per cent, compared to gas 0.6 per cent – that’s right electricity prices are rising 18 times faster than gas. For a government that is determined to deal with energy price increases, and on whose watch fuel poverty is forecast to get worse, there is little sense in moving people away from gas towards electric.

The impact on the average household is plain to see – even energy anoraks (yep that includes you if you have read this far) may not have noticed a little known fact. But the average household electricity bill is now higher than the gas bill!

Taking BG standard tariff rates, from their website, using Ofgem average consumption figures, the average gas bill is £574.99pa compared to the average electricity bill of £579.27pa. Just let that sink in a while, and then thank whoever it was that connected you to the gas network.