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Gas boss warns of higher bills to pay for greener energy

February 15, 2021

By Paul Homewood


h/t Patsy Lacey


If you can’t beat it, tax it!




Household heating bills could be hiked to fund green energy projects for the fight against global warming, one of the country’s largest gas network owners has told MPs.

Gus McIntosh, director of energy futures at Scotia Gas Networks, pointed to the success of levies on electricity bills that have helped subsidise the shift to renewable power.

He said: “I think you could mirror that on the gas side. If gas customers are paying for it as the polluter, they would then get the benefit of that decarbonisation through the gas system, and I think that’s quite a good model.”

Mr McIntosh was speaking to MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee, who are examining the Government’s plans to cut carbon emissions from the heating system by moving to natural gas alternatives such as hydrogen, biomethane and electric heat pumps. Around 20pc of the UK’s emissions come from heating buildings and water, but ditching the natural gas system will be costly and complicated.


In which world are levies on electricity bills are deemed to be a success, I have no idea, but it certainly is not this one.

Weaning the public off of cheap gas is going to be hugely problematic, and could well end up in a new version of the poll tax revolt. Hence the need to start jacking up gas prices now, in the hope that the gullible will blame it on the wicked energy companies, and not the real architects.

And I bet my last dollar that not one singly MP on that committee stood up and objected!

  1. Philip Mulholland permalink
    February 15, 2021 11:42 am

    “The Fight Against Global Warming”
    It seems to me that the current winter weather is already helping in that regard.
    Wait for it … “Weather is not Climate”
    Gaslighting par excellence.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      February 15, 2021 1:52 pm

      Given the exceptional warmth expected by next week-end in the UK, ‘whiplash’ as the weatherman called it, it is also a great way to look silly very quickly – but of course ‘climatists’ have a not falsifiable theory where every outcome is proof definitive.

  2. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    February 15, 2021 11:47 am

    Leftard insanity.

  3. B Davies permalink
    February 15, 2021 11:48 am

    Our national gas network is a very efficient, relatively low cost excellent way of providing heat for our homes and hot water. It is about a third of the cost of electricity. Well over half of our homes use it. Removing Gas as a vital second source of energy or taxing it beyond many peoples affordability is another revolting step towards ensuring the ordinary people on this island are thrust into fuel poverty and shortage. All for no reason except Globalist greed.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      February 15, 2021 12:45 pm

      ” It(gas) is about a third of the cost of electricity. Well over half of our homes use it.”
      Actually those figures are now somewhat out of date. My tariff (VAT inclusive) is 13.36p per kWh electricity compared to 2.26p per kWh gas – so gas is very nearly a sixth the price of electricity.
      In terms of being on the gas mains, in England 87% of homes are connected and in the UK as a whole it is 84%.
      The scale of “pissing people off” is actually rather collosal!

  4. Joe Public permalink
    February 15, 2021 11:50 am

    That crazy scheme will push millions more into energy poverty, and, significantly increase the number of Excess Winter Mortality victims.

    Let that consequence be branded into the proponents’ consciences (if they have them).

    • Ian Wilson permalink
      February 15, 2021 4:18 pm

      Allan MacRae estimates UK excess winter deaths viv-a-vis the US to be 35,000 pa, pro rata to population. Obviously this sort of analysis is necessarily very approximate but if it is anywhere near right it is a sobering number. Don’t hold your breath for government action to reduce these deaths with the sort of talk we have heard over Covid about “your loved ones”. The loved ones don’t matter if caused by government climate policy.

  5. Robert Christopher permalink
    February 15, 2021 12:01 pm

    “If gas customers are paying for it as the polluter, they would then get the benefit of that decarbonisation through the gas system, and I think that’s quite a good model.”

    Is that anything to do with gaslighting?

    • A man of no rank permalink
      February 15, 2021 4:29 pm

      How kind, I’ve never been called a ‘polluter’ before. Also I thought there was a court ruling that CO2 should not be called a polluting gas.

      • February 15, 2021 4:57 pm

        CO2 puts the fizz into fizzy drinks, so if it’s ‘pollution’ the shop shelves must be cleared immediately and all relevant drinks banned forever. Or we could stop the climate absurdity.

  6. David Ashton permalink
    February 15, 2021 12:07 pm

    Interesting how Germany is ploughing ahead with Nordstream 2 and the middle east is in flames fighting over where to lay the the pipeline from Qatar to the Mediterranean.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      February 15, 2021 12:31 pm

      On balance I think it might be better for Qatar to continue to export as LNG. A pipeline through a volatile region carries more risk of supply interruption, and less flexibility for destination. It makes no sense to turn the gas into LNG on the shores of the Med and build a pipeline

  7. richardw permalink
    February 15, 2021 12:37 pm

    Scotia Gas Networks is owned by SSE, and operates in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Apparently over the next 40 years it is installing a mains gas network In Northern Ireland.

    I’m sure their customers would be interested to know about their plans to increase gas prices.

    • richardw permalink
      February 15, 2021 1:04 pm

      Should read ‘operates in Scotland and Southern England.’

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 15, 2021 12:45 pm

    just remember green hydrogen costs over $30/MMBtu at wholesale They are looking for lots of different ways to subsidise that cost. Even with the surge in demand from the cold weather across the Northern hemisphere, methane is just $6/MMBtu.

  9. Penda100 permalink
    February 15, 2021 1:05 pm

    So take something that works well and is reasonably cheap and effective and replace it with something less effective at a vastly increased price. Another absolute insanity in the name of saving the planet. More troughs? More snouts?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 15, 2021 2:45 pm

      Just wait for the first building to be destroyed by a hydrogen explosion. The press will have field day and pictures of burning Zeppelins will be all over the front pages

      • dennisambler permalink
        February 15, 2021 4:59 pm

        But not for long. Problems will be given the Hunter Biden treatment. I don’t remember seeing this on TV news, it was just last month:

        “The explosion occurred in the factory of Brunp Recycling Technology, which is reported to be the biggest company in China to recycle scrapped and old lithium-ion batteries. ”

        Then there was the fire in 2019, near Phoenix, “The McMicken conflagration injured first responders and marred the safety record of the U.S. energy storage industry. The ability to store wind and solar electricity is crucial to the continued growth of clean energy, but the fire showed the risks of battery storage, even when handled by highly experienced professionals.”

        “Absent battery storage, the whole value proposition of intermittent renewable energy makes no sense at all,” said Donald Sadoway, a battery researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-founder of battery storage company Ambri…

        There was a fire just last year in Liverpool:

        Stopthese things has a lot more, including the massive Brussels fire in 2017.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        February 15, 2021 5:48 pm

        The ironic thing about the Liverpool fire was that it occurred not long after I had correspondence with the planning committee chairperson of Liverpool CC. She and the committee had no idea that lithium batteries caught fire and of course weren’t warned about the possibility by their planning officer. I had the conversation after planning had been granted so the scheme went ahead.

        Perhaps I should have contacted her again after the fire but it might have been seen as gloating.

  10. Broadlands permalink
    February 15, 2021 1:11 pm

    “Weaning the public off of cheap gas is going to be hugely problematic, and could well end up in a new version of the poll tax revolt. Hence the need to start jacking up gas prices now, in the hope that the gullible will blame it on the wicked energy companies, and not the real architects.”

    Substitute “petrol” for “gas” and you have the global situation in a nutshell. The real architects are green policy-makers influenced by climate modelers with dire forecasts and labels such as “existential crisis” and “climate emergency”. Climate propaganda.

  11. tomo permalink
    February 15, 2021 1:37 pm

    It’s a scheme to sell fluorescent yellow waistcoats?

  12. Ray Sanders permalink
    February 15, 2021 1:38 pm

    Meanwhile the more sensible leaders in the world are concentrating on supplying reliable power and not worrying about imaginary problems.

  13. Cheshire Red permalink
    February 15, 2021 1:44 pm

    I imagine a fair proportion of MP’s home energy bills would be claimable against expenses.
    OK I’m guessing, but if they work from home, and tbf many do, then a percentage of their costs will probably be allowable.
    They claim phone and TV licence costs, so why should energy be any different? Hence they’re nicely immunised from the costs they’re dumping into everyone else’s laps.

  14. derek wood permalink
    February 15, 2021 2:35 pm

    I’d happily contribute money to a crowd funded legal challenge against the Government, to force them to provide some solid evidence that this subsidy is at all necessary!

    • dennisambler permalink
      February 15, 2021 5:03 pm

      The only legal challenges against the government that win are where they want some NGO to stop them providing cheap energy. Most judges are onside.

  15. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 15, 2021 2:49 pm

    What I find worrying now is that Bill Gates is pushing his book on how he has worked out how to become a NZ world (when I say world, I mean, of course, only the western world).

  16. Gerry, England permalink
    February 15, 2021 3:36 pm

    ” they would then get the benefit of that decarbonisation through the gas system”

    And exactly what benefit would I get from decarbonisation? I can see me spending more time cutting down trees and processing it to burn for heating. It would make getting a wood gasification boiler plumbed into the central heating a good idea but the benefit would be save spending so much on gas that has been stupidly made more expensive.

  17. Joe Public permalink
    February 15, 2021 3:50 pm

    National Grid tweet this afternoon:

    “Demand on our #gas network increased by 15% in January with 117billion kWh of energy being transported – enough to make over 2.5 trillion cups of tea. 🫖
    Demand was highest on 8th January with 4.5billion kWh of energy.”

  18. Curious George permalink
    February 15, 2021 3:56 pm

    Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. [Ronald Reagan]

  19. Mad Mike permalink
    February 15, 2021 4:18 pm

    Good article about British Steel in the DT

    It might be paywalled but its about the Chinese owners, who else, wanting to invest £1.5bn in this country but they want clarity. There are various bits they want cleared up, EU tariffs being one of them, but high on the list is where we are going with the Green Agenda.

    “However, since they took over things have changed. The climate committee has given clear advice to the Government – it’s not law yet, but probably will be by 2035 – saying they don’t want to see any blast furnace steel produced in the UK.”

    According to Deelen, part of the attraction of British Steel for Jingye was their shared knowledge of blast furnaces. After years of underinvestment first by Tata and then Greybull, a new owner ready to pump money into the 2,800-acre Scunthorpe site would be able to capitalise on the knowledge and reputation of the plant, restoring it to former glories.”

    It goes on to talk about electric furnaces and how electricity is so much costlier here than Germany.

    This is maybe the first sign of what will happen to energy intensive industries in the UK and its not pretty. Other industries are supposed to rise up to replace them but they are not proven yet so Boris is taking a big risk with our economy.

    • Penda100 permalink
      February 15, 2021 4:51 pm

      Jobs, people, none of it matters when you have a planet to save.

  20. John Canning permalink
    February 15, 2021 4:37 pm

    From the BBC – Feedback but in fact nothing to say ‘Old Roger’ got it wrong again.

    Dear Mr Canning 

    Thank you for getting in touch about our article published on February 4 about reaction to the proposed Cumbrian coal mine.

    We received a number of complaints making the same or similar points, suggesting the article was unbalanced and lacked impartiality. So for reasons of efficiency, we are sending a reply which we hope addresses all concerns.

    The news peg for this article was a letter sent by a leading climate scientist to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Since the UK is hosting the COP26 summit later this year, we felt that reporting on the intervention was editorially justified, given the UK’s stated intentions regarding cutting emissions and ending the use of coal for electricity by 2025.

    The author of the article, Roger Harrabin our environment analyst, quoted from Dr James Hansen’s letter. He also indicated the mine was intended to provide coking coal for the steel industry which would have to be imported if it was not produced in the UK, a point raised by a number of those who wrote to us. We included a quote from a Downing Street spokesperson, saying “the UK was a world leader on climate change, but would not reverse the local council decision on the mine”.

    We have covered the ongoing debate about whether the mine should have planning approval in previous articles and aim to reflect a range of views in our coverage of these important matters.

    Thank you once again for contacting us. We value all feedback, and your points were included in our overnight reports sent to all senior news management

    Kind regards,

    BBC Complaints Team

    Please note: this email is sent from an unmonitored address so please don’t reply. If necessary please contact us through our webform (please include your case reference number).

    • February 15, 2021 4:47 pm

      I got the same letter!

    • dennisambler permalink
      February 15, 2021 5:07 pm

      “a leading climate scientist, James Hansen” Why don’t they interview the even more leading climate scientist, Richard Lindzen?

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 15, 2021 6:19 pm

      I got the same thing. They ignore my point, which was that Hansen may be a leading scientist but his was a political opinion. They also ignore the fact that Hansen’s opinion was that the PM wold be thought a bit bad. The claim that they cover both sides is nothing more than a lie.

      There really should be a proper independent complaints procedure for the BBC.

    • February 15, 2021 6:28 pm

      I’m an atheist, but have started listening to UCB1, a Christian radio programme, as it appeared to be free of other agendas, in particular free of the woke cancel culture that now infects most radio stations, but they had a long anti-Tory hit piece about this coal mine, citing the sainted James Hansen as representing “The Science (TM)”.

      Even “Fun Kids” plays a song called “What Would Greta Do?”.

    • Stuart Brown permalink
      February 15, 2021 8:30 pm

      Petition to ‘Stop Whitehaven Coal Mine in Cumbria’ tops 10,000 signatures this morning.

      The government promises to respond to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      February 16, 2021 1:56 am

      We know from his Twitter timeline that Harrabin went looking for attack lines against the mine, asking Greenpeace to call him. The Feb 4th story is but one in a chain of concerted action, with a strong likelihood that even if Harrabin didn’t directly ask for the reactions of Deben, Hansen, the Lib Dems, fix the Miliband appearance on Marr, etc. he almost certainly let it be known that they could have some free publicity from him for playing along, and with high probability aided and abetted by his old mucker Black. He was campaigning, not merely offering a one time opinion. And he was failing to do his job and analyse the environmental consequences of mine vs no mine in Cumbria properly – something which the Council plainly had done.

      What is so shameful is that the BBC know we are aware of this. And still they are brazen.

  21. Penda100 permalink
    February 15, 2021 4:49 pm

    OT I see Texas is suffering from extreme Global Warming with temperatures down to -18 (don’t know if that’s C or F) and enjoying rolling power outages. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the 20% of their energy delivered from wind turbines.

    • February 15, 2021 5:03 pm

      Yes it does. The wind turbines froze up or were at risk thereof, and had to be switched off to avoid ruining them.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 15, 2021 6:20 pm

      Yes but its the fault of wildfires…

  22. tomo permalink
    February 15, 2021 4:56 pm

    Looks like Angus is “a vampire working in the blood transfusion service” ?

    He’s one of the boosters for offshore wind farm driven hydrogen electrolysis – and a subsidy hunter….

    Paul – Rotherham Wind Hydrogen Station looks like it might be worth digging around…. – there appears to be some reticence about how it’s working out.

    ITM – the operators got a wedge from BEIS – I wonder if the outcomes are FoI able?

  23. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 15, 2021 6:23 pm

    Why not just make us pay for the Green projects directly? Why go through this “polluter pays” stuff when we all use fossil fuels all the time? If Green stuff is more expensive, at least it would be clear and honest instead of this piecemeal tax and subsidy that hides it all away so we don’t notice.

    And if we all agree it must be done and have agreed to pay for it, why does it need to be hidden?

  24. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 15, 2021 6:42 pm

    As we’re talking about ‘gas’ … I just wonder at the decision of Jaguar to announce that all their vehicles will be electric by 2030. Even LandRovers!!! Bet there are a few farmers with explicit thoughts on that. Considering Jaguar was responsible for some iconic ICE engines (I had a V12!!!), are they about to trash their history?

    • johnbuk permalink
      February 15, 2021 7:09 pm

      Harry, this could be an “own goal”. Generally the only people buying electric Jags and LR will be the “rich” “elite” type. The plebs will either have to take shanks’s pony or make do with a highly taxed plebmobile. I can’t imagine that will endear the government of the day to the 80% in the plebmobiles just as at present we have to listen to Davos man or some royal t..t telling us how to live our lives.

    • I don't believe it! permalink
      February 16, 2021 12:03 am

      LandRovers will offer an electric option by 2030 (quote was ‘by the end of the decade’).
      Given the nature of and market for LandRovers I don’t think they will be exclusively electric throughout the world.

  25. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 15, 2021 7:26 pm

    Ben Pile has a new video

    Looking at the farce of climate attribution.

  26. February 15, 2021 11:02 pm

    “Gas boss warns of higher bills”
    … actually “Gas boss CELEBRATES higher bills”

    And why wouldn’t he ?
    If his profit margin is 5% he’d rather you bought expensive $10 caviar,
    rather than cheap $1 chips
    cos he’d make a 50c profit off you, instead of just 5c

  27. February 15, 2021 11:17 pm

    Again the household bill fallacy
    If utility bills go up, your own direct bill is NOT your own household’s only increased cost
    rather it filters through into EVERYTHING you pay the UK.

    When your gran goes into the hospital
    , they’ll be less nurses, cos some green-dreamer put up the price of energy.

  28. Phil James permalink
    February 19, 2021 12:01 pm

    The latest, insane, recommendations of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) include the requirement that all homes for sale or rent will, by 2028, achieve an Energy Performance Certificate level C. When owners of properties that cannot achieve this level of energy efficiency find that their homes are, in effect, worthless, I anticipate that their reaction will make the poll tax riots look like vicars’ tea parties. When lenders realise that the country is sleepwalking into its own, homemade, sub-prime crisis, they might also have something to say!

  29. February 19, 2021 9:00 pm

    This is much s simpler that it may appear. they are taxing gas so electricity doesn’t look quite sucha ridiculous alternative. A wholly regressive attack on our prosperity and competitiveness. It’s an old trick as well, tilting the playing field, as with renewable subsidies for otherwise uncompetitive energy generation.

    Same as Eisenhower did the railways the government controlled the freight rates of, to make road freight look cheaper and justify funding the Interstates – to move the Nukes around, etc. Long haul road freight was not competitive before the rail prices were hiked to make rail uncompetitive, Government at work, and its your $$$ they are wasting, by law.

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