COLUMN: Energy firms? They’re all in it together

Leila Nthenya with CAB advice services manager Yvonne Robinson. DJ
Leila Nthenya with CAB advice services manager Yvonne Robinson. DJ

Deputy Editor Andrew Brookes outlines his frustration at the rising cost of energy bills...

Don’t you just love those letters that the energy firms send out?

The ones where they tell you, in a high-minded and patronising way, that the dog ate the homework so they’ll have to put your bills up.

Those infuriating letters contain much by way of ‘explanation’ but amazingly little by way of detail of profits and pay for the team at the top.

I’m sure they’re doing pretty well thank you very much.

EDF last week announced it was putting up its bills by an eye-watering 10.8 per cent, the latest rise from the ‘Big Six’ - the greedy firms that are not so much fat cats as a pack of morbidly obese panthers.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been engaged in a stubborn war again my firm - throwing on jumpers and blankets galore to try to deny paying them a penny more than I have to.

I’m fully aware that that’s not a particularly adult way to respond and saving cash while shivering on the settee makes it a Pyrrhic victory.

It’s also quite worrying to think that many vulnerable elderly people might put themselves at risk by following the same logic.

With that in mind it was good to see Boston’s Citizens Advice Bureau doing its bit to help people learn how to switch their bills.

Advisers at the busy centre in Boston gave out tips on Friday as part of Big Energy Week – an admirable way to try to make sense of the seemingly deliberately baffling array of different tarrifs.

Maybe I’m a miserable cynic but it does seem that – to paraphase our beloved chancellor – they’re all in this together.

The CAB fears that the rises, coming when seasonal work is lean and heating is needed even more, will have a big effect on Boston people’s pockets.

South Holland District Council has looked into a way of negotiating cheaper bills by signing a bulk deal for residents.

It’ll be interesting to see if that works. Anything that brings down the cost should surely be welcomed. Maybe then we could send suitable letters by way of reply?