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Electricity shake-up could save consumers ‘up to £40bn’–Harrabin

July 24, 2017

By Paul Homewood



h/t Various!!



Another grossly one sided report from Roger Harrabin:




Consumers in the UK could save billions of pounds thanks to major changes in the way electricity is made, used and stored, the government has said.

New rules will make it easier for people to generate their own power with solar panels, store it in batteries and sell it to the National Grid.

If they work, consumers will save £17bn to £40bn by 2050, according to the government and energy regulator Ofgem.

The rules are due to come into effect over the next year.

They will reduce costs for someone who allows their washing machine to be turned on by the internet to maximise use of cheap solar power on a sunny afternoon.

And they will even support people who agree to have their freezers switched off for a few minutes to smooth demand at peak times.

They’ll also benefit a business that allows its air-conditioning to be turned down briefly to help balance a spell of peak energy demand on the National Grid.

Among the first to gain from the rule changes will be people with solar panels and battery storage. At the moment they are charged tariffs when they import electricity into their home or export it back to the grid.

The government has realised that this rule must change because it deters people from using power more flexibly in a way that will benefit everyone.



Firstly, the claimed savings of £17bn to £40bn are cumulative, not annual, as some may infer. In other words, the annual savings may be as low as £500 million on average, and most will not accrue for many years yet.

Secondly, the savings figure comes from an old OFGEM report published last November, which stated:

This could save consumers between £17-40 billion by 2050 according to research by Imperial College and the Carbon Trust.

Note the word COULD, and not WILL, which Harrabin writes.

In any event, the Imperial College analysis, which I covered here, involves an awful lot of other things than households having solar panels.

But the real issue is that these savings, even if they occur, will not be savings compared to what people pay for electricity now. The Climate Change Act will, according to some estimates, have cost the country £319bn by 2030. This cost will only skyrocket after 2030.

So we may save the odd £500 million a year or so, but this will be set against an extra £15bn or more, that the Act is costing.

For some reason, Harrabin forgets to mention this!

There is also the £12bn cost of rolling out smart meters, on which this whole idea depends, which does not appear to be in any of the calculations.

It is highly unlikely anyway that solar panels/batteries will yield any significant savings, as they will provide very little power in winter, when demand peaks. There is certainly currently no battery technology which can store enough power in summer to last through the winter months.

The main effect of these proposed new regulations will likely benefit rich homeowners with solar panels, at the expense of other bill payers. It is hard to think of a more regressive fiscal policy.

The cost of producing electricity in total will barely be affected, and if some people pay less, others are going to end up paying more.

This BBC article encapsulates the fact that Harrabin has long ceased to be an objective reporter on green issues, and is little more than an enthusiastic cheerleader.

  1. July 24, 2017 12:56 pm

    “up to 1 billion” So that could be 1p😂

    • Stuart Brown permalink
      July 24, 2017 1:38 pm

      Minus £319bn could be read as ‘up to £40bn’ positive too 😦

      btw Mr Homewood…

      ‘So we may save the odd £500bn a year or so, but this will be set against an extra £15bn or more, that the Act is costing.’

      I think you meant ‘the odd £500m’

  2. Glyn Palmer permalink
    July 24, 2017 1:01 pm

    Roger Harrabin, knave or fool? Discuss.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      July 24, 2017 1:28 pm

      Wouldn’t waste my breath. We all know he’s an activist cloaked in BBC ‘neutrality’.

    • July 24, 2017 3:41 pm

      He’s not called the Cardinal for nothing. He ensures that all BBC output is alarmist wrt “climate change” and ensures that all articles on renewable energy show how good it is for consumers and the environment. He is the BBC enforcer and creator of fake news regarding “climate change”.

      Remember his role in 28Gate:

    • Adrian permalink
      July 24, 2017 3:48 pm

      Who is the fool?

      He who takes a fat salary for propagating bovine faeces or s/he who willingly pays the BBC?

      • Gerry, England permalink
        July 25, 2017 12:43 pm

        The latter. So much of the UK functions courtesy of the geese principle – people just behave in a gaggle. But if they want to really change something then mass disobedience can bring things down. Anybody remember the fuel blockade? That had the country on the edge in a matter of days.

  3. Derek Buxton permalink
    July 24, 2017 1:21 pm

    How much more stupidity are we going to get from this moronic government? Not one of them have clue what they are talking about. And just what is the problem that requires rationing of energy, we are not at war, there is no shortage of proper fuel and in this day and age energy is a major necessity. Without it every thing will come to a halt! It is the responsibility of government to assure a secure, affordable energy supply and ensure the well being of the people.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      July 24, 2017 4:50 pm


  4. CheshireRed permalink
    July 24, 2017 1:27 pm

    The bullshit is strong with this one.

    BBC are also reporting a ‘study’ with computer models (there’s a surprise!) that asserts an increased chance of ‘unprecedented’ downpours in the UK. Naturally it’s lapped-up by agw acolytes btl. If I recall Paul you posted a while back some CET data that showed precisely zero precipitation increase over many years. Do you still have it to hand?

    • HotScot permalink
      July 24, 2017 2:40 pm

      At Brands hatch yesterday, the morning forecast was there was a 95% chance of rain during the second race of the day, around 4pm.

      It was bright and lightly overcast with barely a sniff of rain.

      So much for weather forecasting using all that sophisticated technology, they can’t get it right 7 hours ahead.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        July 24, 2017 3:19 pm

        Here in South Wales the Sunday Forecats for today was heavy cloud until the afternoon with sunshine through cloud in the afternoon, it has been cloudless sunahine since dawn.
        It is great fun to take screenprints of their 5 day forecasts for 5 days to see how they continually change them, as you say even on the day of their forecast.

      • David Richardson permalink
        July 24, 2017 4:48 pm

        Well HotScot – Met Office forecasts have always been a curate’s egg. I was sailing on Windermere yesterday and the we had just parked the boat away when the rain started at 4pm which was accurately forecast at 6am in the morning. Did we rely on that forecast? – don’t be silly.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        July 25, 2017 12:47 pm

        The funniest one I recall was on the BBC on the TMS text feed. There was a rain delay at the start and a comment was posted that the new forecast they had been handed was quite different to one just an hour earlier.

        If you go to you can compare GEM and GFS output and for a few days ahead there is also ICON. Amusing to see how much they can disagree by. I like the quote in the foreword to his book where Robin Page comments that all the supercomputers and models produce worse forecasts than before. I would tend to agree with the man.

      • HotScot permalink
        July 25, 2017 5:19 pm

        Seaweed. Now classified as a supercomputer.

  5. Ben Vorlich permalink
    July 24, 2017 1:32 pm

    Do you mean £500million in the sentence below?

    So we may save the odd £500bn a year or so, but this will be set against an extra £15bn or more, that the Act is costing.

  6. Vernon E permalink
    July 24, 2017 1:50 pm

    I knew all along that I would resist a smart meter till hell froze. Appliances being switched on and off beyond my control. And no cup of tea at tea time – peak hour.

    • HotScot permalink
      July 24, 2017 7:05 pm

      Don’t you have to have compliant appliances?

      In which case, the money spent on smart metres is just the tip of the iceberg if everyone has to buy appliances that conform to the ‘internet of things’ standards to exploit a smart meter.

      And therein lies the conundrum, if the ‘internet of things’ is such a good idea, market forces would have led to us adopting them and then demanding smart meter to exploit them.

      Instead, our governments are herding us all into technological change we have no evidence is useful or effective.

      Imagine had we all been forced into buying the PC’s we’re all tapping away on now. We would probably have resisted, but market forces attracted us to them because of, amongst other things, the wealth of resources available via the internet.

      Indeed, it wasn’t the PC’s we were interested in at all, it was the information and comms. that really attracted us all. Substitute smart meters for PC’s, and the ‘internet of things’ for ‘the internet’ and it’s clear our government is meddling in things they ought to steer clear of.

      • David Ashton permalink
        July 26, 2017 2:26 pm

        I’m sure I read in a Cisco annual financial report a few years ago that their goal was to have a Cisco smart switch installed in every domestic appliance. Not sure whether they meant just new appliances, or retro fitted as well.

  7. A C Osborn permalink
    July 24, 2017 2:04 pm

    Euan also has an article on the UK Climate Change Act and the latest Government waffle, I posted this over there and it applies just as much here.
    today we have the Beeb and Harrabin eulogising over the use of Batteries, Wind & Solar + using EV Batteries, using home equipment when high solar & wind to save households billions.
    They have absolutely no clue what they are talking about as Roger, Euan and others have shown many times.
    I am not even sure they realise they are talking rubbish, or are just following the “part line”.
    They were talking about so much Wind & Solar that the grid won’t know what to do with it.
    We have a windy sunny daya today, demand is currently at around 35 Gw, wind is at 2Gw and Solar is at 4.5Gw.
    So, 6.5Gw that the grid “doesn’t know what to do with.
    We know of course if they really come together optimally we could get as much another 5 or 6Gw of wind.
    So, on a really good day as much as 12.6Gw of energy for the Grid to dispose of.
    They live in cloud cuckoo land.

  8. martinbrumby permalink
    July 24, 2017 2:31 pm

    Noticeable that the Glowbull Warming shroudwavers always screech about the catastrophic negative outcomes that ‘could’ arise and never, ever mention any benefits.

    The Ruinable Fraud conspirators are the other way round. Loads of benefits that ‘could’ occur (no matter how far-fetched), NO negative consequences whatever.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 25, 2017 12:52 pm

      Or that none of their predictions has ever come true. If the planet is at record warmth, how come it has been snowing in the French Alps at Chamonix and is forecast to do so today and tomorrow if there is any accuracy in their forecast.

  9. Athelstan permalink
    July 24, 2017 3:27 pm

    As soon as I saw Harrabin’s name on it………………………..what an utter W anchor he is.

    • Paddy permalink
      July 25, 2017 7:51 am

      If I type “Harrabin”, my Kindle text editor changes it to “Warfarin” ….

  10. markl permalink
    July 24, 2017 3:28 pm

    So transferring the responsibility of providing electricity to the homeowner is their idea of saving the consumer money? If you can afford to provide your own electricity and its’ storage we’ll sell any extra (we’ll determine what’s ‘extra’ and hold you to your ‘share’) back to the people saving everyone money? And when your panels/batteries/windmill needs repair or replacement due to old age you are on the hook for that as well? These people are daft. This is right up there with globalization and redistribution of wealth controlled by the UN is good for Western economies.

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 24, 2017 3:35 pm

    Consumers in the UK could save billions of pounds thanks to major changes in the way electricity is made, used and stored, the government has said.

    What that really means is that ‘some’ consumers will save on their energy costs. And who, pray will be these consumers likely be? Well, they won’t be residents of tower blocks, low-cost social housing tenants, private tenants, or the ‘below the line’ JAMs. No. the people who will benefit will be those who can afford to fit solar, batteries and other gizmos: the well-off. All the rest will see their bills rise. Doesn’t sound to me that this has been thought through. Something more likely what Corbyn would come up with and later claim he didn’t know what the costings were.
    Mind you, those that go for battery walls to back up their solar should end up paying a good deal more for fire insurance (the mind boggles at the thought of Li-On battery walls in tower blocks).

  12. Max Sawyer permalink
    July 24, 2017 4:29 pm

    Does this include the direct and indirect costs of Hinckley C? They will more than wipe out any savings.

  13. July 24, 2017 4:30 pm

    Moving to gas-fired power stations instead of part-time wind and solar gadgets would ‘save’ far more than the above proposals.

  14. Bitter&twisted permalink
    July 24, 2017 4:49 pm

    “If they work”.
    You can be damn sure they won’t.

  15. keith permalink
    July 24, 2017 4:54 pm

    Typical BBC fake news.

  16. July 24, 2017 4:56 pm

    Just heard a segment on Radio 5 (5.45pm, 24th July). The reporter, Colletta Smith, interviewed a representative of a company that installs batteries in houses. The credulity was teeth-grindingly bad; it was basically a 5-minute advert for home battery packs coupled with solar power, with no questions about any possible drawbacks… I dunno, cost, lifetime, fire risk, uselessness for two thirds of the year…

    Apparently if a big power station goes off line, the battery packs are gonna charge in to the rescue!

    Unfortunately one can scream as loudly as a tomcat at two o’clock on tuesday night, but the people on the radio hear nothing.

    • July 24, 2017 11:18 pm

      3 months back the battery trial scheme near Sheffield was covered by R4 You and Yours. It was obvious that the corp had selected the random user (a granny) and she had been coached.
      She spoke of the savings she would get ..rather than any that had actually happened.

  17. keith permalink
    July 24, 2017 6:36 pm

    It seems Sky has now followed up on this piece of rubbish news.

  18. Jack Broughton permalink
    July 24, 2017 8:19 pm

    It makes easy news to claim increased jam tomorrow: even though the jam jar will have broken long before then and we won’t be able to afford another. Climate change solved at low cost tomorrow or sometime….. honest.

  19. July 24, 2017 11:59 pm

    Paul, steady on you are being harsh on Harra this time.
    This time he’s notmanufacturing narrative but mostly repeating was government minister Greg Clark just announced see the Sun story

    PH said “Note the word COULD, and not WILL, which Harrabin writes.”
    actually Rog wrote “if X will”
    “If they work, consumers will save £17bn to £40bn by 2050,”

    • July 25, 2017 12:20 am

      “Energy secretary Greg Clark (LSE PhD) has never switched suppliers.” !
      The guy clearly is a genius, for coming up with the idea that UK needs a prize compettiion to do battery research, cos no body in the whole world, including Desperate Musk is doing any research into batteries at all /sarc

      text of speech

    • July 25, 2017 12:22 am

      Relevant part of speech
      “Today we are publishing ‘Smart Systems and Flexibility’ – a plan to make the UK’s energy system smarter will help reduce energy bills, balance demand on the grid and realise up to £40 billion of benefits.”

    • July 25, 2017 9:33 am

      Even if they work, the supposed savings are still not certain

  20. Joe Black permalink
    July 25, 2017 12:07 am

    Goodbye G.B and thanks for all the fish.

  21. July 25, 2017 12:07 am

    Now Shukman has a new a news scare story
    pushing greening Greenland

    Funny cos July 21 professor Fritz Vahrenholt published a newspaper article
    He had decided to examine how the results of the British study morphed into spectacular reports of a “greening” Antarctica in the media.
    “An entire series of errors was committed by the scientists.”
    #1 The first major error the media made was making the three tiny islands located near the tip of the Antarctic peninsula where the study took place look as if they were talking about all of Antarctica.
    #2 , the German professor points out, is the media claim that the area of study did not suddenly turn green and that there’s been moss and plants on the islands “for hundreds of years” already

    Piers has a report

  22. gallopingcamel permalink
    July 25, 2017 4:02 am

    Thank y’all for doing dumb stuff so we won’t have to.

    With Donald Trump in charge, stoopid government is receding at least in the energy sector.

  23. Green Sand permalink
    July 25, 2017 9:37 am

    ‘Smart’ meters and appliances? Don’t think the Chief Constable of Durham Police has many!

    ‘Internet of things’ will leave home gadgets vulnerable to hacks, senior police officer warns

    “Consumers who buy internet-enabled devices such as televisions, refrigerators and even kettles are leaving themselves open to hackers who could use them to gain access to their bank accounts, one of the country’s most senior police officers has warned……”

  24. July 25, 2017 11:11 am

    Completely insane, as usual from Harrabin. Spending enormous amounts of money on solar panels and batteries that don’t even exist yet is somehow going to save money?

  25. Gerry, England permalink
    July 25, 2017 12:58 pm

    And the fire brigade warn not to leave white goods running – bar fridges and freezers obviously but they can cause a fire as we know – when you are either asleep or out. What about your insurers? Are you covered letting your washing machine run when you are at work? And the impracticality of it. Wash clothes you want to iron and let them sit and get creased for hours and makes it harder to iron them unless you run the machine to rinse them again.

  26. July 25, 2017 5:31 pm

    A decision on mandatory half-hourly settlement plans for domestic electricity customers has been pushed back to 2019.

  27. Sheri permalink
    July 25, 2017 9:59 pm

    So one saves money by paying bribes.

  28. July 27, 2017 6:48 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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