The Insidious Rise of UK Energy Standing Charges

The pandemic has clearly impacted raw material prices. A war in Ukraine is going to push up oil and gas prices further.

In the UK energy price rises have been announced and the method of madness enacted is to apply the majority of post April 1st price rise to the daily standing charge. In my own case this is stated to rise from 21 pence per day for electricity to 47p per day.

Part of this standing charge rise is to shore up the failing energy market in the UK, to keep the illusion of competition alive after a wave of smaller energy providers have gone bust (including one medium sized company, Bulb who had over a million users and was deemed to large for the big six energy providers to absorb and so is temporarily run by the government).

The other cost is the £150 “loan” that each energy user in the UK will get off their bills this year but that will be paid back over five years (so we will all be paying back this loan in subsequent years even if energy prices rise further.Robbing Peter to pay Paul?). In effect the huge rise in standing charges will help keep energy companies afloat whereas the liquidity of their users is a secondary concern.

Putting the majority of the energy price rises on the standing charge means that even if poorer households drastically reduce their energy usage and don’t put on their heating in winter they will only save down to the now raised floor of the standing charge.

Turn it off mate

For me this means that in summer months I will be paying more in standing charges than for the energy I consume. I’m going to be paying more for using less. That’s hardly fair and presumably the cost of getting that energy to me, purely in the ongoing cost of maintaining the infrastructure has not increased by the percentage we will all now be paying come April (let alone a projected further price cap review in October).

I see now why the review of energy pricing a few years back stated that all providers should include standing charges (we were with a company that had no standing charges).

So even those using micro-generation such as solar and wind to offset what they pay for their energy will find their bills rising due to an increase in standing charges.

Only complete off-grid energy users will be unaffected.

Anxiety Dream: Skyhook

An Xmas eve anxiety dream involving  a kind of skyhook system except I had to fire a hook on a wire up from the ground to falling skydivers (why? It’s a dream. They all make sense when in the dream).

The anxiety bit is I have a team around me that wants to fire said skyhook from indoors which misses the impossibly small channel carved in the wall for this improbable exercise.

Of course the firing fails and, against the clock I have to rewind the cable onto an impossibly large reel whilst being shouted at by the others telling me we’re running out of time. The skydivers are getting lower. Why we have to hook them in is, of course, hard to fathom but ours is not to question why.

Merry Xmas on and all.

Sorry Johnny that’s wrong.

Not sure why oo-toob threw this one up though I do remember the Doomsday book fondly as i helped collating some submissions from a school way back when.

Obsolete technologies can be fun and this clip contains two.The then quite new CD-Video which combined a few tracks of digital CD-compatible audio with a single track of analogue laserdisc compatible video.

Johnny “think of a number” ball points to the laserdisc and says “digital” which is wrong as laserdisc was analogue and this pits and lands on the disc were ma modulated analogue signal. It’s true that digital audio could be stored there too but the BBC Doomsday project which used a laserdisc to store images and video accessed through a computer was storing analogue information.

Anyway I always thought laserdisc would’ve been a better vinyl record replacement because it could store analogue audio alongside digital in a 12″ for factor thus keeping the lovely album artwork.

Sony’s prototype compact disc was also 12″. Sadly Philips won out and the hard-to-love CD was born.

Recommended Podcast: Soundman Confidential

Larry Kirwan Soundman Confidential

Black 47's, Larry Kirwan is on the show this week. Songwriter, playwright, novelist and storyteller – tune in. It's a smashing chat. Support the show
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  2. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter
  3. Clem Burke – Blondie
  4. Ian Rankin ~ author
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