The renewable and social obligations placed on energy providers provide a masterclass example of stealth taxation. Today we're urged to be cross with the big energy providers, calls are made for enquiries (although this is a pretty standard Miliband response these days) and even for windfall taxes.
But here (courtesy of The Register) is an interesting little statement from EDF (emphasis is mine):
The company has seen a sharp increase in costs since the start of the year, with transmission and distribution charges rising by 9%, and the costs associated with the implementation of obligatory renewable, energy efficiency and social schemes increasing by more than 50%. The cost of buying energy has also risen by 4% for next year ... The cost of buying energy accounts for around 50% of a typical energy bill. The other half is made up of non-energy costs.
Now that's pretty clear although you won't hear Nicky Campbell running a phone in on how a government stealth tax - sold to us by Whitehall as not costing us a penny - is behind the ridiculous rise in domestic energy costs. Of that 11% rise, the lion's share is down to distribution costs and "renewables, energy efficiency and social" schemes. As The Register comments:
This system of cranking up everyone's energy bill hits the less-well-off disproportionately hard: and it's also dishonest, as politicians and energy firms alike decline to tell you bluntly why your bills keep going up.
Just remember that, then, the next time you hear a politician stigmatised as a climate sceptic. A vote for that politician is a vote against this sort of vicious price rise, this sort of stealth tax targeted on ordinary folk who find their energy bills a significant cost - the sort of hit that most of us will find pretty painful, given the current economic climate.
Worse still, by tucking this information at the bottom of its statement, EDF are complicit in the fooling of the public. It should be the headline something like:
"Energy Stealth Tax doubles EDF Price Rise"