Blackout risk

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THE sound of chickens coming home to roost is heard throughout the land as the major ­energy suppliers pass consumers the latest tranche of costs from green initiatives.

Labour leader Ed Miliband, Energy Secretary in Gordon Brown’s government, was the ­architect of these costs in his pernicious Climate Change Act and aware his policy would ramp up bills.

Of course, in the halcyon days before the revelations of the Climategate whistleblower and the end of “catastrophic” global warming he argued it was “a price worth paying”.

Today, he blames everyone but himself and demands a price freeze as if the new power stations and network upgrades required by his act can be funded for free.

But fuel poverty is already ­endemic and any further decommissioning of nuclear and coal-fired power plants will put us at the risk of the winter blackouts we last saw in the 1970s.

(Dr) John Cameron

St Andrews, Fife

Amid all the understandable hype about energy prices, we should not forget that this situation began under the Blair/Brown governments, with Ed Miliband briefly their energy secretary who imposed “green” taxes.

We also need more economic education by commentators.

To condemn a price increase merely because it is so much more than the average rate of inflation ignores the fact that that increase is itself a component of that average rate.

We cannot all be on the average of everything all the time.

If it is true 85 per cent of their costs are outside energy companies’ control and (for example) SSE’s target profit is only 5 per cent on sales (your report, 11 October), then it is typical politicians’ hypocrisy for Mr Miliband to say that “the government is letting the energy companies get away with it” and the firms were “ripping off customers”.

Would he prefer it if they made losses of 5 per cent every year?

What we never see in press articles or on the BBC is an analysis of the firms’ return on the massive investment in the assets necessary to provide us with energy 24/7, without which much of the adverse comment is economically illiterate and superfluous. Maybe you could rectify this omission?

John Birkett

St Andrews, Fife

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