From the Yorkshire Post, UKIP MP Doug Carswell on the reasons behind big fuel bike price hikes:
GOVERNMENT energy policy, put in place by Ministers of all three established parties, is pricing people out of being able to heat their own homes.
The cosy consensus over energy policy here in Westminster is squeezing living standards across the country. According to the index of domestic fuel and light prices, helpfully reproduced by the House of Commons Library, prices have changed fairly dramatically over the past 40 years.
From the early 1980s through to the early noughties, there was a slow, gradual fall in prices; it was a 20-year period of customers getting what they tend to get in a free market, capitalist economy – more for less.
Suddenly and dramatically, that picture changed in the early noughties. Since then we have seen a rapid rise in prices – sharper, indeed, than that experienced during either of the two oil shocks of the 1970s.
Dual-fuel household energy bills in 2014 for the average home are forecast to be almost £1,400. That represents a real-terms price increase of over 50 per cent in a decade during which average household incomes stagnated.
Why have energy prices gone up so rapidly? Is it because there is not enough of the stuff? Are we perhaps running out of gas?
Not at all: wholesale energy costs have actually been falling as a proportion of the total. According to Ofgem, for every £1 we pay on domestic fuel bills, only about 44p goes to meet the wholesale price.
Energy prices are not going up because of a shortage of energy or because of beastly energy companies; public policy is driving up the cost of household energy bills. The renewable obligation requires energy companies to increase the proportion of energy they generate from supposedly renewable sources.
That basically means that we have to pay more in order to subsidise the construction of wind turbines.
According to data that the Department for Energy and Climate Change recently put out following a Freedom of Information request, low-carbon policies will result in a 50 per cent increase in energy costs for small business in the central fossil fuel price scenario for 2020.
In the low fossil fuel price scenario for 2020, low-carbon policies will cause a 77 per cent increase for medium-sized companies, which would rise to 114 per cent by 2030. Whitehall officials have gambled on the price and cost of fossil fuel and have got it spectacularly wrong.