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Electricity bills set to rise by £30 a year and power rationed amid shortage fears, MPs warn

December 19, 2016

By Paul Homewood


h/t Philip Bratby




From the Telegraph:


Electricity bills could go up by £30 each year by 2020 and power "rationed" due to “mismanagement" of the UK’s electricity networks and the increasing cost of emergency supplies, MPs have warned.

The British Infrastructure Group, led by former Conservative minister Grant Shapps, warned lights could go out across the country next winter because there is not enough spare capacity in the system to cope with higher demand.

There is just 0.1 per cent spare electricity in the current system, a dangerously small amount of headroom in case of emergencies over the winter months, the report warned.

It cost the National Grid 800 times more than the standard price to buy additional power to cope with potential shortages in 2015. In total the company will spend £122.4 million on emergency power this winter and costs are expected to rise in 2016/17.

Electricity bills could increase

Electricity bills could increase Credit: Reuters


A failure to plan for the long term and Government demands to close coal-fired power stations to ease the impact on the environment have put the network under pressure, the MPs found.

As a result, National Grid is forced to pay a premium to keep power stations which do not operate most of the time in a state of readiness in case of shortages, costing millions of pounds in emergency payments.

The grid expects to switch to a new scheme for coping with extra demand in 2018/19, but this will cost £1.1 billion by 2020 forcing bills up by £30 a year, the report warned.

Hospitals and factories are also being asked to switch to back up diesel generators to ease pressure on the grid at peak times, leading to concerns about pollution.

Daniel Mahoney, head of economic research at the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “Mismanagement of energy policy – both from the European Union and the UK Government – has left the UK with desperately narrow capacity margins.”

“In her first major campaign speech, Theresa May made a welcome declaration that she wanted to see an energy policy that promotes the reliability of supply and lower costs for users. This report re-emphasises the need for this commitment to be delivered.”

The group of cross-party MPs also warned that customers could see their electricity rationed in order to cut usage across the country when supply is in demand.

It is not clear if families would be compensated for this loss of power.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: "Keeping the lights on is non-negotiable for this government. We currently have a surplus margin of 6.6 per cent, which is even higher than last year."

The report concluded: "Currently, the British electricity network is going backwards. Capacity margins are so tight that National Grid’s emergency power deals have become the norm.

"Consumers, both domestic and business, having once reaped the benefits of tumbling prices after the 1990s market reforms, are now resigned to paying ever-higher electricity bills.

"Some households may even face the prospect of power being rationed and returning to a three day week. Some businesses already have. This is surely a failure of any nationally- directed power strategy. "


The headline £30 claim actually woefully understates the real figure, as it only takes account of the cost of standby capacity.

As we already know from the OBR figures, environmental levies, which will largely impact on electricity bills, will increase by £8.4bn between now and 2020/21.

But more interesting are the worries expressed by the MPs about the security of supply.

  1. martinbrumby permalink
    December 19, 2016 7:16 pm

    Any of our MPs (and Lords) who can’t demonstrate (referring to Hansard) that they have actively and energetically opposed the current ludicrous position, (where there is now NO type of electricity generation that can be envisioned that does NOT require eyewatering subsidies,) should be shackled to a cycle – generator for 12 hours a day.

    I’m prepared to operate the cat-o-nine-tails on an FOC basis if someone will volunteer to beat the drum.

  2. AlecM permalink
    December 19, 2016 7:38 pm

    The best way to deal with this problem is to create a ‘Political Gauntlet’ to force politicians to pass a group of experts, for and against Climate Fraud Science (yup, that identifies my views). They MUST respond to direct questions with direct answers:

    1. Has there been temperature rise: YES or NO. The answer is YES.

    2. Is that temperature rise real or exaggerated: the answer is YES, and YES.

    3. Has [CO2] caused that temperature increase: the answer is NOT PROVEN.

    4. Why is it not proven? This is where they will mostly fail.

    The results of 4 will identify who can be trusted. The res can be dumped by their electors.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      December 19, 2016 8:23 pm

      All you will get is the standard obscuration. I would suggest something more like

      1. Thermometers show the temperature rise in 1975 to 1995 was the same as in 1920 to 1940, but these have been adjusted to exaggerate recent warming. Do you support this exaggeration?

      2. Has there ever been any proof given to show CO2 causes warming?

      3. Current policies are making the electricity supply very unstable. Do you support continuing these dangerous policies?

      4. When there are extra deaths due to blackouts, how many would you think acceptable?
      Chose from 30,000 or 50,000 or more than 70,000.

      They won’t like it and will probably refuse to answer, but it may make more than one worry that something is wrong and it might rebound on them.

  3. December 19, 2016 7:39 pm

    With the world awash in natural gas and coal, there is no reason energy prices should be increasing other than government meddling.

  4. Athelstan permalink
    December 19, 2016 7:42 pm

    #shock horror bears found to be going and dumping in the woods!

    And……………..After, 30 odd years of EU diktat – anyone remember the “acid rain” BS? and the LCPD????? and not least UK shi7e energy policies and added in, the insane adherence to the globull warbling chimera, of ‘green energy’ palliatives: has caused this imminent energy supply crisis.

    Well I never and really, honestly speaking – Westminster cannot tell us, that they were not warned.

    MPs mutter, shrieking in panic and scramble for deniability cover, they’re gonna need it.

  5. December 19, 2016 7:53 pm

    “MPs warn of £30-a-year energy bill rise to stop winter blackouts
    – A report called Electric Shock: Will The Christmas Lights Go Out Next Winter? has been published by the British Infrastructure Group”
    The report was released at 6am
    So there is something going on; it’s an organized PR exercise.
    But it’s PR in the right direction for a change.

  6. December 19, 2016 8:00 pm

    Nobody in this Government, the previous Coalition Government or the Labour Government of the previous 13 years, can deny that they haven’t been warned that this would eventually happened. The warnings came from numerous power engineers who were ignored in favour of “expert” advice from the Greenblob. I have a large folder of letters to and from my MP and various Government Ministers going back to 2008. I gave up in 2013 as there is only so much head banging that any one person can do. Prior to 2008 I responded to several consultations, but again, there is only so much of that that anyone can do before the futility of the process would drive a normal person insane.

  7. December 19, 2016 8:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 19, 2016 8:33 pm

    the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

    What a clusterf*ck of a dept, whose strategy seems to be, chose the most expensive, useless option and just throw money (ours) at it in the hope that it will work – and, LOOK! everyone can claim it to be a strategy! Sorted.

    • Athelstan permalink
      December 19, 2016 8:39 pm

      “What a clusterf*ck of a dept”

      Well said, not so eloquent but bang on the money, Mr. Passfield.

      I was quietly more [but not very] hopeful when the DECC was disbanded……………………..actually though, they haven’t been, have they?

  9. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 19, 2016 8:50 pm

    BEIS quote a security margin of 6.6%. Surely not, with the French interconnector at half cock and ongoing power shortages on the Continent that have seen even the Britned operating in reverse flow…

  10. Ian JOhnson. permalink
    December 19, 2016 9:34 pm

    Wait till America stops sending wood pellets to Drax.

  11. AndyG55 permalink
    December 19, 2016 11:18 pm

    OT, Electoral College has voted…

    DONALD TRUMP is the next POTUS. 🙂

    Life just got a whole lot harder for the AGW scam. 🙂

  12. martinbrumby permalink
    December 19, 2016 11:20 pm

    In other news, the EU and their sock puppets in BEIS have announced permission and a Xmas hamper brimming with subsidies for Drax to convert another generation set from coal to biomass.
    Millions more homes to get ‘sustainable’ energy, allegedly.
    Some greenies disgruntled, apparently….
    No, I didn’t make this up.

    • AndyG55 permalink
      December 19, 2016 11:45 pm

      Many Trump can stop the rape of American forests to power the UK’s biomass whim.

  13. Peter MacFarlane permalink
    December 20, 2016 8:16 am

    It can only be good news if reality is finally breaking in on the ptb.

    Perhaps we can look forward to the repeal of the Climate Change Act?

    One can hope.

    • NeilC permalink
      December 20, 2016 9:35 am

      What I don’t understand is, the CCA is a distinctly left wing act, disasterous for UK business, why do so many Conservative MP’s still advocate it?

      I agree the act must be repealed now.

      • AlecM permalink
        December 20, 2016 9:47 am

        MPs are bribed with the promise of future jobs by the Renewables’ Mafia.

        We need to impose a 5 year no-employment ban in any area of previous Ministerial Responsibility.

        So, they can become servicemen, teachers, shop-assistants etc., or even act as volunteers to help the homeless, which is what John Profumo did.

  14. December 20, 2016 8:49 am

    ‘£30/PA until 2020’ is £120 by the end of 2020.

    And that is if it is available!

    • NeilC permalink
      December 20, 2016 9:37 am

      The way it’s going more like £300 PA. And as you say if there is any for longer periods of time.

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