Shortly we will see the Coalition offer on our energy bills. Current briefing suggests we can look forward to a £50 cut in the bill from the Coalition. This outbids the promise of a freeze from Labour should they win the 2015 election. Their promise does not explain how they would stop big rises before and after the freeze.
The Coalition is unlikely to offer the full £100 plus of green costs off the bills. The Lib Dems have been fighting hard to keep the bills up, as they like the green costs and charges and wish to make lower carbon emissions one of the main aims of energy policy. A compromise will be brokered as a result.
Based on this exchange, I would rather have the Coalition offer, and will vote for it accordingly. Around £50 off is progress. Slowing down, revising or making cheaper some of the green programmes will help at the margin to control the power bill.
All this is, however, modest progress compared to the largest part of our electricity costs. The truth is these are firmly driven by EU policies which Mr Miliband signed up to when in office. A £50 cut in costs will be eroded over the years ahead as the full costs of many more windfarms, and the impact of the plant closures of the cheaper power stations comes to be felt in full.
The only way in the future to get lower energy bills is to generate electricity in cheaper ways. The USA has cheaper energy than us because it is embracing the shale gas revolution. For those who are preoccupied by carbon dioxide outflows, the US policy is even cutting their CO2 output at the same time, as gas displaces other fossil fuels.
Our renegotiation of our relationship with the EU has to include as a central plank the need to control our own energy policy again, so we can pursue cheaper energy. Dear EU energy is one of several unpopular issues which will persuade more people to vote to leave the EU when we finally get a vote.