The debate over energy bills continues to challenge the heights of insanity. People object to every form of supply, whilst maintaining or increasing demand and the result is continued misery:
- Oil is expensive, coal is dirty and fracking is a fracking nightmare;
- As the FD of Breathing Buildings, an innovative company designing more energy efficient buildings says, people expect their houses, and offices, to be so warm that in the morning they can eat their cereals in their pants. Things such as turning the heating down a degree or two, an action by the person adversely affected, are, perversely, never even considered.
Jeremy Paxman says that the public is intelligent enough to realise that there are serious problems facing us, which we need to address rationally, together, beyond the current level of political debate, which is so selfish/self-interested as to be childish. I would counter this by saying that we may be sufficiently intelligent to see the problems but we are neither intelligent enough, nor self-aware enough to find the solutions ourselves. We continue to look to others to fix it for us (so long as they’re not called Jim). And often this works.
One solution to the energy issue requires nothing more than some accounting skill. This is because often the problem is less in the amount that you consume, more in the amount that you pay. Whilst there should be a clear and obvious relationship between the two this is no longer the case. “The Pre-Payment” now rules the energy sector. “The Pre-Payment” is the amount that is deemed, by the supplier, to be appropriate for your consumption over the next 12 months. But how is it calculated? By taking one of the several consumption figures that applies to your household and multiplying it by a figure that gives the annual consumption. But is this the right amount? Can you see the consumption, monthly, of your house over the last 12 months? Can you see the calculation that Behemoth PLC has done? Or do you need a spreadsheet and an accountant to get to this impenetrable figure?
I, and colleagues, have successfully breached this defence of theirs and thereby proved our worth as some of the problem solvers: if an issue is clearly set out then the solution is often immediately obvious. But after we have applied our rational expertise and still not found all the solutions that we need in order to maintain a healthy and ordered society, then what?
Stay warm and enjoy your Corn Flakes. But remember that winter is coming.