Energy Benefits


“We need to acknowledge that there is, in a civilised society, a right to expect affordable access to warmth, light, and the other benefits which energy delivers and that this can only be protected as prices rise by intervention, either in the energy markets or through the welfare system.”

Former chairman of the Environment Agency  Sir John Harman hits out at politicians and UK energy companies via the Fabian Society.


Photo by Goombay under this Creative commons license


3 thoughts on “Energy Benefits

  1. Near Angel tube station, there is a building on whose exterior a vent gives out hot air. Homeless people often sit or lie under it in cold weather until moved on by the police. I wonder if good Sir John would extend his reasoning to such folk and assert that the government should provide them with light and warmth also. If so, I would surely applaud his good intentions.

    Somehow, though, I suspect that he is interested only in extending such “rights” to certain classes in our society.

  2. It is certainly true that greater reliance on sustainable energy resources is likely to lead to a higher cost to consumers (monetary cost I mean). Harman is right of course and I will be interested to see what suggestions he makes in his forthcoming book. Solving fuel poverty is fraught with difficulties as reducing unit cost inevitably increases consumption so clearly targeting lower prices at those who cannot afford the higher ones is key but difficult to do even through the welfare system.

    • What’s the difficulty in at least enforcing appropriate tarrifs for those claiming certain types of welfare or low wages (no high charges for pre paid meters etc). I suppose we’re too deregulated now (look where that’s got us). It’s a shame the government doesn’t have a holding interest in a few energy companies in order to jerk their choke chain once in a while.

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