There’s something very British about the current state of Britain’s energy suppliers and the whole inability to plan for the required sustainability that encompasses housing in this green and pleasant land.
Poor productivity and classic serial short termism are still at work when we hear that the UK energy suppliers are to possibly be called to account for recent 15-22% price hikes and we learn that no new energy supplier has entered the British energy supplier market in the last 10 years leaving only 6 suppliers to play happy cartels and carve up the existing user base amongst themselves. So much for competition giving the customer what they want.
We also learn that the privatised utility companies still look to government to OK and supply the woefull shortfull in energy production infrastructure needed in order to meet future British energy needs. Even with a heavy future government investment in nuclear power this will leave us far short of the required energy production capacity needed and will likely result in further price rises along the way in order to fund this shortfall (a common outcome of many privatised public utilities who fail to invest in infrastructure).
Supply And Demand
Energy demand will currently outstrip the British ability to supply between 2012-2015 whilst even if government approves the building of new power stations immediately most will take 10 years to come on stream.
The use of coal power power stations has grown by 25% during 2000-2006 to meet current demands but the hours that these stations can operate is limited by EU law that requires them to be decommissioned by 2015.
This Old House
Combine this with the news that although the best way to obtain planning permission to build the much required housing capacity for our growing population is by building to sustainable home specifications which then gives developers the required green lights and accompanying tax-breaks. But we now learn that so far only three such properties have actually been built. It becomes apparent that neither a centralised government model or the private sector are doing enough to make the future of Britain a better or affordable place to live.
The Cost Of Living
The average annual gas and/or electricity bill in the UK is now approaching £1000 whilst the average house price is now £230,000 (£398,476 in London).*
*Source: RightMove house price index