My speech during the debate on Fuel Poverty

I support the Government’s aim of making a major reduction in fuel poverty and I admire the Minister’s enthusiasm for the task and her wish to share this with Parliament and to listen to good ideas from across the House.

There are three ways to tackle fuel poverty. The first is to help people to have more efficient appliances and warmer homes so that they need to burn less fuel. The second way is to cut the price of fuel itself and the third way is to help people find better paid jobs and give them encouragement into ways of boosting their income.

We first of all need to work through the Minister on these plans and projects in order that more homes can be upgraded so that people don’t have to live in damp and cold surroundings – how right she is about that. Can I ask her to make common cause with me to the Treasury, as now we are free to choose what to put VAT on and what to take it off. Can we please have a Brexit bonus for those who are in fuel poverty by taking VAT off all those things they need to buy to improve their homes?

Why are we still charging VAT on insulation materials and boiler controls and a whole range of green products that are necessary to lower the fuel bill in the home and to improve its warmth and its fitness for purpose?

That is not too big a charge on the Treasury in terms of lost revenue – indeed it would be a win for both the Government’s green strategy and for its fuel poverty strategy. A dearer item would be to tackle the price of fuel directly by taking VAT off domestic fuel in its entirety. That too I would welcome as I do think that fuel is expensive in this country and electricity is becoming very expensive.

I would also urge the Minister to look at the electricity policy generally. There was a time when we had a great three-legged strategy towards electrical power. The first leg of the strategy was that the Government was responsible for ensuring that we could always generate all the electrical power we need in Britain for ourselves and that we had a decent margin of spare capacity in case a large power station went down or in case of a sudden surge in demand in a very cold winter.

We don’t seem to have that anymore and I would urge the Minister to take action as soon as possible to commission the electrical power we are going to need if we do not wish to be dependant on unreliable, potentially very expensive foreign sources for imports should we get into difficulties with the amount of power we have.

The second part of the policy was to go for cheap power and cheap energy because that’s the way to get an industrial recovery and revival and that is the way to get more people out of fuel poverty so they can afford the domestic fuel.

Again, we seem to have dropped that particular leg of our energy policy. We seem to be going for rather dearer fuel – we used to have the belief that the fuel that should be supplied should be the cheapest fuel always whereas now for various other reasons we often opt for a dearer way of producing the electricity or we opt for an apparently cheaper way but we need a lot of expensive backup capacity because renewables are interruptible. I think we need to look at the charging mechanism and try and make sure that overall, with our new mix of energy we can get to cheaper power.

And then, we always had green imperatives as well which are very necessary . Particularlyb important that clean air is central to the whole ambition and that wherever we are burning fuels we do everything we can to avoid dust and soot and particles emerging into the atmosphere because they are not pleasant for any of us.

When it comes to increasing personal incomes that is probably too wide a subject for the limited time of this debate .However can I just say that levelling up must be about encouraging people to go on their own personal journeys – we must be making available the educational opportunities, the training opportunities, the promotion opportunities within public bodies and through the private sector. We must be working with people, so that they see that if they are low paid today they have a reasonable prospect of being better paid tomorrow.

Cheap energy can underpin all of this, because if went for more cheaper energy, supplied domestically, we would then have a bigger industrial base because energy is often a much bigger cost than labour in a modern fully automated factory . That would create more better paid jobs to go alongside the factory in all the things you need to do to design, market and sell on the products that the largely automated factory can produce.

So, Minister, let’s make common cause with the Treasury. Let’s do more at home, let’s create more better paid jobs at home and let’s understand the role of having enough electric capacity to produce cheaper power here for all our ambitions.


  1. Mark B
    July 9, 2021

    Good morning.

    So no repealing the Climate Change Act then ? A piece of government legislation designed to increase fuel bills and destroy jobs, all for the sake of a gas that does no harm.

    We do not have ‘fuel poverty’, we have a demand and supply problem. We are increasing the population every year, enacting legislation banning the sale of new ICE cars (demand), whilst shutting down our capacity to generate energy and outlaw the use of alternate fuels such as gas (supply). It seems to me that the last thing we need is for the government to propose solutions to problems it has created.

    1. MiC
      July 9, 2021

      Ask the people dying of heat exhaustion in Pacific NW America, in Lapland, and in Siberia, whether excess CO2 “does no harm”

      1. agricola
        July 9, 2021

        Most of those in foreign parts for whom you show such great concern will not know that your noxious gas CO2 is food for all they plant and only comprises 0.04% of the Earths atmosphere. What is reality when you can run so far on rhetorical emotion. One day you will wake up to Mr Big, the Sun, and ask yourself what he has been doing for millions of years, and will continue to do.

      2. agricola
        July 9, 2021

        Most of those in foreign parts for whom you show such great concern will not know that your noxious gas CO2 is food for all they plant and only comprises 0.04% of the Earths atmosphere. What is reality when you can run so far on rhetorical emotion. One day you will wake up to Mr Big, the Sun, and ask yourself what he has been doing for millions of years, and will continue to do….

      3. Old Albion
        July 9, 2021

        It’s called weather MiC. Scandinavia is experiencing unusual warmth, but 33*C is not deadly, you exaggerate. Come Winter it will be bl**dy freezing as usual.
        In Australia June is Winter, it’s currently the coldest on record, bar one.
        CO2 is less than 0.05% of our atmosphere. Think about it.

      4. Micky Taking
        July 9, 2021

        excess being what exactly? Define what level is ‘as it should be’, by your estimation?

      5. Peter2
        July 9, 2021

        Far more die of the cold.
        And with green fanatics policies, fuel poverty will see many thousands more die of the cold.

      6. MFD
        July 9, 2021

        That is an implied risk that has no data to support it.
        We must destroy this left wing scam.

      7. Mitchel
        July 9, 2021

        Any emmission problem in Siberia will be methane-related not CO2-those vast forests absorb enormous amounts of the stuff.

      8. Mark
        July 9, 2021

        There are some unusual but not unprecedented weather conditions, but I suspect no real change in CO2 levels in those areas, except perhaps on the back of forest fires, which will be a temproary and imited effect.

    2. Peter Wood
      July 9, 2021

      MArk B,

      Sad, but true. I’m reminded of the old saw; people trade, polticians frustrate trade.

      Sir J. We need, self-sufficiency in: energy, food and national defence. Oh, and balance the budget for a change?

    3. glen cullen
      July 9, 2021

      Spot On Mark B

    4. turboterrier
      July 9, 2021

      Mark B
      Very well said.
      It is sad to think that a government with an 80 seat majority cannot or will not change policies, laws and treaties to be able to build a better foundation for this country to become really prosperous instead of being held back with laws passed thirty years ago. They weren’t good then and are far worse now for the betterment of the nation.

    5. lifelogic
      July 9, 2021


      They care not what they spend nor what value they get (be it +ve or -ve) so long as they get their salary, gold plated pensions and their knighthoods in die course.

      1. lifelogic
        July 9, 2021

        due course, not die

      2. Paul Cuthbertson
        July 9, 2021

        LL – Spot on and I shall add to your comment that real conspiracy theorists believe that their government cares about them, the media would never mislead or lie to them and the pharmaceutical industry that makes billions from sickness wants to cure them.
        Sadly I do not think the people will wake up.

      3. claxby pluckacre
        July 11, 2021

        Too right…. bunch of crooks.. the lot of them.

  2. Cheshire Girl
    July 9, 2021

    I remember being shocked, some years ago, when VAT was introduced on domestic fuel. To be charged a tax to keep warm in ones home, especially for those who are struggling to pay the bills. Disgraceful, I think.

    And while they’re at it, can the Government consider taking VAT off insurance policies for house contents etc. This is a very sneaky way to raise revenue, hoping that people won’t notice.
    Please, no increase in VAT on anything. After all, you did promise!

    1. Peter Parsons
      July 9, 2021

      VAT on domestic fuel – introduced by a Conservative government (at 8%, cut to 5% when Labour got elected in 1997).
      Insurance Premium Tax – introduced by a Conservative government (and the standard rate raised from 5% in 2010 to 12% now).

  3. Len Peel
    July 9, 2021

    So you want to reduce imports but cut prices. You’d fail Economics O Level

    1. a-tracy
      July 9, 2021

      Why Len, the costs in the Netherlands, France and Germany are no less than the costs in the UK?

  4. Nig l
    July 9, 2021

    Tremendous contribution. Your government hasn’t a clue. Intellectually far too much for Anne Marie Trevelyon. An ex accountant with zero energy expertise having lost her job when Overseas Aid was merged and we all know the performance of that department.

    The job is too big for her. Our nuclear policy is in ruins/non existent and we rely increasingly on French nuclear for our energy. An EDF power station in France is/was umpteen years late. As for cost we agreed to pay double the wholesale electricity price for 35 years. Commissioning and building anything new, 25 years?

    Andrea Leadsom and Amber Rudd have published an excellent paper for the Policy Exchange setting out what is needed, planning consents etc to join up our offshore wind policy. I believe seabed consents need multi agency and environmental consents not to mention the cabling and battery storage facilities that could be as big as Wembley.

    Johnson is an intellectual butterfly only interested in being liked reminding me of a painter who never prepares his wood, merely giving it a gloss that quickly fades. Until someone in this government tells him to get a grip, do the flag waving leaving some one else to drive what is needed like your contribution, we will continue to ‘slide’

    He likes the COP 26 bullshit but not the grunt needed to follow it up, like so much else pushing it back into the long grass.

    1. Micky Taking
      July 9, 2021

      Intellectual on ancient history perhaps, but otherwise he’s hopeless.

    2. MFD
      July 9, 2021


    3. Kathy Penney
      July 9, 2021

      I totally agree. A week or so ago I watched Anne Marie Trevelyan being interviewed about the ridiculous ‘net zero’ plans that the Government seems completely and blindly wedded to, and she was utterly out of her depth. I don’t think many people voted Conservative to have this agenda forced on them. Let’s face it, if we did want it, Caroline Lucas would now be Prime Minister and her party would be the party of government and we we all know how well they do in elections.

      1. glen cullen
        July 9, 2021

        Agree – the last general election was a ‘single issue’ election and any honest government would have called another election as soon as that single issue was concluded and it has been… ‘brexit’

    4. Paul Cuthbertson
      July 9, 2021

      Nig 1 +1000…..I have said many times, we have not had an Energy policy for decades as NO ONE in government understands energy. I voted for Thatcher but I did not agree with the policy of selling off/privatising the electrical power industry. A very wrong decision but there again,was she pushed in that direction?????????

    5. Mark
      July 9, 2021

      Neither Leadsom nor Rudd are energy experts. If they were, they would recommend calling a halt to offshore wind that is steadily driving our costs higher.

  5. Cynic
    July 9, 2021

    All good points, Sir John. What a pity the government is headed in the opposite direction!

  6. Ian Wragg
    July 9, 2021

    Your recommendations are diametrically opposite to the governments stated intention.
    They wish to tax people into poverty to reach some nirvana which is net zero.
    This is a backwards move which will eventually be the nemesis of the liblabcon.
    Joe public will not tolerate a few lording it over them whilst they freeze, starve and are housebound.
    Get a grip John and stop this lunacy.

    1. turboterrier
      July 9, 2021

      Ian Wragg
      With the critical mass of politicians believing albeit not understanding the energy process Sir John and his like minded colleagues can grip all they like , but as in a tug of war contest they get pulled over. When a catastrophic disaster hits the energy world with millions of our inhabitants affected then parliament will turn to Sir John and his like minded band of brothers.

  7. turboterrier
    July 9, 2021

    Very good speech Sir John highlighting all the concerns of the people who understand about power production and transmission.
    If as I think we all do that the climate is and will be constantly evolving my
    biggest concern has always been continuity of supply.if the changes introduce more storms and inclement weather, how does the country function when miles of transmission power lines come down? In an all electric society complete and utter chaos. Albeit central heating systems cannot operate, but with a mains gas supply food and hot drinks are available. In rural area if the power lines are down then trees are down making the transport of emergency generators difficult. All very well having systems that function in the good weather it is when severe weather descends upon us. Weather forecasting struggles at times to get their predictions correct in the short term. It can only be totally guess work to forsee months and seasons in advance.

    1. J Bush
      July 9, 2021

      Agreed. I have lived most of my life in rural/semi-rural settings where pylons are the norm and can confirm power cuts are a regular occurrence.

      If electric is to be the only source of power, then the government will need to have all the overhead cables transferred below ground.

    2. Mark
      July 9, 2021

      The risks are already there with all the subsea cables for interconnectors and windfarms. They do not appear to be particularly weather related, but it usually takes many weeks or months to repair them. Outages are quite frequent. The BritNed interconnector has spent more time out of service than in service since early December, with two separate cable faults. The IFA2 interconnector was also shut down for a month. Frequent outages on the Western Link HVDC cables from Hunterston to Deeside have forced curtailment at many Scottish wind farms last year. The Rampion wind farm off Brighton spent many months out of action with cable faults. Orsted noted in their annual report that cable faults are a big maintenance item for their wind farms.

      Our major transmission lines are mostly well engineered: I don’t recall any of it suffering in the Michael Fish hurricane for instance. It is the distribution network that is more vulnerable to falling trees etc. in windy weather, and that is largely a matter of maintenance to ensure that the trees are well pruned. I gather that drones are starting to replace helicopters for survey work, which should mean that it is cheaper, and done more frequently. In any event, this year has been marked by low winds and very low wind generation. Perhaps that’s what we really need to worry about, as without generation you get blackouts.

  8. Nig l
    July 9, 2021

    Ps the reason why I have zero confidence is that I experienced government’s incompetence at first hand on this topic.

    When Covid first hit Sunak announced a muti billion grant package for householders to do the things you suggest. The most useful, solar voltaic was not included but I signed up to an alternative.

    Initial information was good but then timescales slipped, no surprise because obviously it was a panicked announcement with no thought about delivery.they hadn’t checked if there were enough suppliers or whether they would sign up. As usual I guess the bureaucracy was suffocating because that was the last I heard. No further e mails updating me.

    The programme faded away. How many projects were delivered Sir JR and how much money spent. Why did I prepared to spend my money to help your green agenda hear nothing more.

    It is the reality of things like this that make people so cynical.

  9. turboterrier
    July 9, 2021

    We are standing on a big part of the solution to the problem. Get franking and if all the predictions on quantity of supply are met then the country at a stroke has a home produced base load power supply readily avaliable.
    Other countries are investing heavily in hydrogen as an alternative to gas and vehicle fuel. Let the consumer market decide.
    Very few of your colleagues seem to appreciate that for the average domestic user the actual true range of an EV is half the stated distance in assuming that a day trip out with the family includes getting back home. At present distance is not a real problem in there is always a quick refill option available.
    If there is catastrophic failure of the electricity supply how do travellers get home or get to work in their EVs?
    Always prepare for the worse case scenario, if nothing else CV19 should have taught us that. Never going to happen, but it does.

  10. Nig l
    July 9, 2021

    And in other news the British Army conducting a joint exercise in the US with about 1300 soldiers used up the whole of the army’s ammunition in 8 days. Let’s hope any future war stops by the weekend.

    Please tell ministers to stop their vapid discussions on face masks. The public is beginning to ignore them. It just further highlights the governments incontinent and incompetent policy on Covid from day 1.

    1. The Prangwizard
      July 9, 2021

      And we are told by BAE they can only make 1m small arms bullets per day. Just take one years stock and start dividing it by assumed useage and we have no worthwhile defences. I dare say we rely on imports in this sphere too.

  11. Andy
    July 9, 2021


    £40bn for Tory pensioner Brexit

    £37bn for failed Tory test and trace

    8% rise in handouts for pensioners

    £££ for companies run by Tory friends


    Paying nurses properly

    A sensible catchup fund for schools

    International aid to stop poor brown kids dying

    School meals for hungry kids

    £20 a week for those on Universal Credit

    Zero to tackle fuel poverty.

    1. Micky Taking
      July 9, 2021

      Is this your personal epiphany? Too much common sense -who wrote it for you?

    2. a-tracy
      July 9, 2021

      Andy, how do our qualified degree nurses pay rates and full benefits package compare to rates paid in your beloved EU? We need to train more male medics, call them ‘medics’ instead of ‘nurse’ just as we changed to the term chairperson. When men enter a female-dominated profession pay rates increase.
      I wonder if schools could provide meals for all children for the cost of the child benefit allowance (or the amount allocated to universal credit for this purpose) and take over the responsibility for feeding all children in term time, the bigger quantity would bring the cost down, keep school kitchens open in summer for free school meal children using volunteers, local mums who are on full benefits to pay back with their time.
      Do you know how much income support benefits including housing benefits are each week?

    3. MFD
      July 9, 2021

      Andy, If thats your name!
      You must have a superb display of roses in your garden as you talk such horse manure at times.

      Try putting brain in gear before opening mouth! It might work.

    4. Nig l
      July 9, 2021

      Off to spec savers fir you, get the other eye sorted out. It’s looking angry.

    5. Nig l
      July 9, 2021

      It was your anti brexit PM that gave away the 40 billion.

  12. David Peddy
    July 9, 2021

    In addition I would add that it is encouraging to read that Sheffield Forgemasters are likely to be protected because of their unequivocally strategic importance to defence and also because they will supply components for the Rolls Royce mini-nuclear reactors ,which I am gratified to see that we plan to install?
    Now we need to stop dithering over the Cumbrian coal mine and get supplies of coking coal from domestic sources to our steel making furnaces

    1. J Bush
      July 9, 2021

      The Cumbrian mine will bring hundreds of jobs into the area and will offset a lot of the job losses this government created with ‘locking down’ the economy.

    2. john waugh
      July 9, 2021

      Online world nuclear news (wnn) says-
      UK SMR to start regulatory process this autumn.
      The UK SMR consortium , led by Rolls-Royce , has announced the latest design of its “compact” nuclear power station.
      There is interesting info on The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre ( –
      The UK gov. is to invest support funding in the UK SMR consortium.
      The consortium aims to have first power station in operation around 2030.

  13. SM
    July 9, 2021

    The doom-laden forecasters say the climate is going to get oh-so-much-hotter, in which case why is everyone so worried about HEATING buildings?

    Shouldn’t there be more interest in air-conditioning?

    1. The Prangwizard
      July 9, 2021

      The BBC, the climate change propanganda organisation used by the extreme zealot Roger Harrabin is putting it about that knocking down old buildings and factories is adding to ‘global warming’ and should stop. They are economically and socially subversive and totally ignorant. They say the buildings should be adapted but fail to state that the cost of doing so can be astronomical and does not reduce the quantity of CO2 nonsense compared to creating a brand new building.

  14. Andy
    July 9, 2021

    Huge congratulations to Germany – which today will become the first country in Europe to surpass 80m Covid jabs.

    France and Italy will both surpass 60m in the coming days – with the EU27 surpassing 400m jabs this weekend. Probably on Sunday. A phenomenal achievement.

    Despite claims to the contrary in PMQs – Europe’s most successful rollout isn’t here. It is in EU member state Malta which has fully jabbed, with two doses, 70% of its population. Iceland and San Marino both have better rollouts than us too.

    Europe and the US are both mostly using the more effective Pfizer and Moderna jabs. Indeed the US has still not approved AstraZeneca.

    Meanwhile three countries with more advanced vaccination programmes than ours – the Seychelles, Israel and Chile – all had to reimpose restrictions following an upsurge in cases. The U.K. is considered to be running an experiment to see what happens to unvaccinated young people when all restrictions are lifted. The experiment is being organised by the vaccinated old people who run the country.

    I wonder what will happen? Who can possibly guess?

    Reply Would you like to comment on why the EU sadly leads the table for deaths from CV19 at 740,000, ahead of the US and Brazil, with some of highest death rates per million in several EU countries.

    1. Mark
      July 9, 2021

      Are we no longer in Europe? The UK has already surpassed 80 million jabs yesterday, despite a smaller population than Germany. Chile and the Seychelles made the mistake of relying on China for its jab. They should have opted for AZ, which is far more effective, and being made available at cost – and they would be well advised to switch. In Israel, they are being very cautious. New infections remain quite low, but importantly the vaccines are protecting people from more serious illness and death. As they are in the UK, where numbers of hospitalisations and deaths relative to cases have fallen very dramatically. The vaccines work. Nastier side effects remain rare.

  15. Bryan Harris
    July 9, 2021

    The real problem here is the green agenda.

    Those pursuing the green environmentalists dream just do not want us to create more energy for consumption — They want a reduction in energy usage so a reduction in energy creation potential fits in very well with their overall plans.

    Until we all wake up to how destructive the green plans are we will be denied the energy we require, and there will be hell to pay when the lights start going out and factories stand idle.

    <I<By then it will be too late exercise our democratic options as those taking us along this path will remain unaccountable or retired from high office.

  16. J Bush
    July 9, 2021

    I planned for my retirement taking into account my fuel bills would be higher, because I would be at home for most/all of the day. I invested into a good quality multi fuel burner, which I was using before retirement and it has already nearly paid for itself, due to reduced fuel costs. It is far cheaper than electric and even gas heating. Now I am retired, on cold days, I light it using coal (the smokeless sort) as a base and keep it lit with wood throughput the day, I am also fortunate that my wood supply cost is small.

    Your government not only wants to ban this form of heating, but also gas. I have a multi gas boiler and a gas hob. At present there are probably millions of people like me whose demand on the power grid, is very low. By removing choice (how very ‘communist’) the demand on the power grid will rise, and probably exponentially.

    However, I suspect it likely that it won’t have realistically considered this, but if they have, then they will also know they will be putting even more people into fuel poverty. Which will get worse because of the continued renewable subsidies, coupled with their myopic zero carbon plan. But heyho, what do they care, it ticks the ‘green’ box!

    1. Alan Jutson
      July 9, 2021

      J Bush

      Agree the Government want householders to stop burning Wood, and Coal is just a dirty word, but they are happy to feed the DRAX power station with wood pellets from the USA after transporting it over thousands of miles (Land, Sea, and Land again)
      The wood used to come from wood waste years ago, now they are felling actual trees to make the pellets.
      Difficult to make it up, let alone make any sense. !

  17. glen cullen
    July 9, 2021

    Talking about fuel poverty, just wait till 2030 when people are priced out of buying £40,000 cars, £10,000 replacement heat pumps and the cost of the estimated 4.2 million people to be made unemployed who currently work in the ICE after-market and auto repair sector…..its only 8 years away

  18. Dave Andrews
    July 9, 2021

    Helping people find better paid jobs.
    So you are saying that someone with some years experience in a lower paid job needs to improve their lot by finding another better paid job. This suggests they can be better paid in a job in which they have no experience, rather than a job they have some years experience in.
    Where will we get the people that are needed to do these jobs? If they guy who empties our bins can’t pay his energy bills, even if he gets another better paid job, that still needs the bins emptying be someone else who can’t pay their energy bills.
    What incentive too for employers to train staff, if their training just produces employees who straight away leave for a better paid job, with an employer who makes investment in higher pay rather than spending anything on training.
    That kind of policy leads to poor training opportunities and a low skilled workforce. What do you know?

  19. NotA#
    July 9, 2021

    The only reason this situation arises is because of Government Policy in the first place. To be on message, carryout ‘grand standing’ and appease a minority of the metro left – Government chooses to use the taxpayer as their preferred method of subsidizing these wishy-washy pipe dreams.

    As with all subsidies those that can least afford get to fund those that can afford and would have done it anyway.

  20. NotA#
    July 9, 2021

    “There are three ways to tackle fuel poverty. The first is to help people to have more efficient appliances and warmer homes so that they need to burn less fuel. ”

    Current Building Regulations(along with what has been proposed in next years changes) work against this. It would appear that lobbying is working for those that profit from the industry. Far better for the house builder to specify a pretty kitchen than ensure the fabric of the building is working effectively.

    1. NotA#
      July 9, 2021

      @NotA# What would the UK do if it couldn’t keep importing from China.

      China gives us domestic appliances, they give us our computer chips(even the last production facility in the UK is being moved to their ownership). China is also after France at the forefront of all the UK’s energy needs. The UK can never control its energy while it is dominated by foreign government owned industries. It will for ever be held hostage to the mood of others and will never have a say.

      The UK Government forces UK businesses to close so as to keep foreign dominance in UK prime infrastructure – its self inflicted, not a result of a competitive market place. Competition is good, State subsidized infiltration is in itself an act of war.

    2. NotA#
      July 9, 2021

      @NotA# One of the duties of Government is to keep its people safe and secure. By that very definition allowing the basic infrastructure of the Country to pass into the hands of foreign powers and the whims of their leaders, means the Government has sacrificed is people to be hostages of others.

  21. graham1946
    July 9, 2021

    A good speech, but I must take issue with item one on your list of three. We can cut our usage, in fact over recent years I have replaced all my big appliances with the lowest consuming ones, have my lighting running on low consumption bulbs etc, my boiler is serviced and is as efficient as it can be. My usage is the lowest I have ever had, yet my bills are the highest I’ve ever had also. The more we cut, the higher unit costs go, as the industry will not forgo its enormous profits. Then the government puts ‘green taxes’ and VAT on it as well. We were told that wind turbines would make electricity cheaper. When? It will never happen. I am of an age where I remember nuclear power was going to be so cheap that it would not even be metered. Nonsense of course and all lies so that politicians can get their lunatic ideas accepted by the public. Whatever you do and suggest, we will never get low cost power, it is too big a money spinner for big money interests.

    1. Alan Jutson
      July 9, 2021


  22. NotA#
    July 9, 2021

    From todays MsM –

    ’The Government has said it wants to fit 600,000 heat pumps in UK homes each year by 2028.

    These pumps are a greener solution as they aren’t powered by fossil fuels and are highly efficient. ‘

    they aren’t powered by fossil fuels usual twaddle and misinformation – they only work when there is a supply of electricity. Then only partially in the case of the air version at low temps

    The UK’s electricity is dependent on the EU and France through the interconnect. Then the French State with their Chinese partners internally in the UK

  23. a-tracy
    July 9, 2021

    Martin Lewis has been warning people bills will go up by £100 pa for an average house pa from October. A commenter said it was because of this “Costs for interconnector capacity to Britain are the most expensive in Europe. Looking at the monthly auctions for May 2021, which are hosted via JAO’s trading platform, our latest research shows that the price for capacity on the interconnector to export energy from Belgium to Great Britain was the most expensive in Europe at 19.42€/MW/H.”

    Why do we need to buy energy from Belgium? What do they have to create this energy that the UK doesn’t have?

    Your government could suspend vat on fuel for homes whilst you sort out our own energy supply.

    1. Mark
      July 9, 2021

      We should worry because Belgium has plans to close large swathes of its generating capacity, including all its nuclear plants. Its plans for replacement are inadequate and running far behind. Belgium will develop shortages over the next 2-3 years and be looking for imports. Their plans for wind generation will not help the situation: it’s less windy in Belgium and offshore than in the UK, and of course mostly our weather blows over to them (or doesn’t blow at all) at the same time. So if we need imports, so will they. Already, when they have had nuclear shutdowns we have seen French power routed via Kent to Belgium, and therefore not available to us.

      1. a-tracy
        July 10, 2021

        Thanks for the info Mark

  24. John Mcdonald
    July 9, 2021

    Dear Sir John,
    You might like to explain why not everybody pays the same price for their Gas and Electricity ?
    The result of the Supply Industry not being State(tax payer)owned.
    Again I refer to the UK subsidising French consumers via EDF.

  25. Pauline Baxter
    July 9, 2021

    So. What WAS the subject of the Debate?
    If it was FUEL POVERTY I suppose you did well to bring in ‘energy policy’ and particularly the ‘three legged’ policy of keeping the national grid charged however that needs to be done. Even so you could have been a bit more outspoken about how if the electricity national grid goes down because of all the ‘carbon neutral’ policies, it will be DEATH rather than POVERTY.
    If the debate was about ENERGY POLICY then I would say YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID FAR MORE about how all the ‘green energy’ measures make no sense at all and threaten to leave us WITH NO ENERGY.

  26. mancunius
    July 9, 2021

    “Why are we still charging VAT on insulation materials and boiler controls and a whole range of green products that are necessary to lower the fuel bill in the home and to improve its warmth and its fitness for purpose?”
    That’s easily answered – it’s because it’s a convenient fig leaf for fraud. All such items are supplied by the plumbers / electricians / heating installers who without showing receipts for the goods supplied 1) write down a fictional (greatly increased) purchase cost, which when 20% is added inflates it by a further 20% of the overcharge 2) charge 20% VAT on the whole of their total bill (even though their declared income is beneath the VAT limit, so they pay no VAT) thus charging VAT a third time on the supplied items, and a 20% total services ‘tax’ they will never pay.
    They then 3) request the total sum in ‘notes’, as they have no intention of declaring one penny of it.

    If VAT were to be removed from industrially supplied items, the fig leaf would be inconveniently removed, and the customer would realize he/she was being royally conned.

  27. Malcolm White
    July 9, 2021

    Green energy taxes should be removed or reduced for manufacturing and production to allow British businesses to compete fairly in the global market.

  28. Micky Taking
    July 9, 2021

    Another recent topic -will it be on national BBC news?
    Heart inflammation is a “very rare” side-effect of the Covid vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, according to regulators in Europe. The European Medicines Agency said the side-effects were more common in younger men. The medicines safety body said the benefits of Covid vaccines continue to far outweigh any risks. But doctors and patients have been advised to be aware of the symptoms of heart inflammation.
    These include chest pain, a feeling of breathlessness and a pounding or fluttering heartbeat. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor. Two conditions were linked to the vaccines – inflammation of the heart muscle itself, known as myocarditis, and inflammation of the fluid-filled sac the heart sits in, known as pericarditis.
    The EMA analysis of cases found:
    Pfizer-BioNTech – 145 cases of myocarditis and 138 cases of pericarditis out of 177m doses given.
    Moderna – 19 case of myocarditis and 19 cases of pericarditis out of 20 million doses given.

  29. glen cullen
    July 9, 2021

    Being report tonight –
    ”A fresh Brexit dispute has emerged over the size of the UK’s “divorce bill” after the European Union estimated it is now worth billions more than expected.
    Downing Street on Friday rejected the new net figure that emerged in Brussels’ latest accounts of 47.5 billion euros (£40.8 billion)”

  30. Julian Flood
    July 10, 2021

    Sir John, there is a wonder fuel available to us in vast quantities which could cut CO2 emissions at a stroke, would enable adapted large road, rail and waterborne vehicles to emit almost zero particulates and NOX and would take the UK well on the way to a hydrogen economy. By lowering energy prices we would enable UK industry to take on the coal-burning economies of the Far East.

    By combining two hydrogen molecules (hydrogen comes as a linked pair) with one carbon atom we get a clean-burning gas with half the energy coming from the hydrogen part of the molecule. By extending the gas grid and delivering it to every home we could afford to ban oil-fired central heating boilers, replacing them with a clean alternative that would not overload our already creaking electricity grid every time it gets chilly. Heat pumps don’t work when it’s really cold and drive up the cost of home heating to unaffordable levels. Those who advocate them are committing the old, the poor and the sick to hypothermia.

    One hopes that government scientists are researching ways to produce more of this wonder fuel using solar panels, wind turbines and nuclear power, but such research will take decades. In the meantime we should simply frack for it under Yorkshire, Notts, Lancs, under Glasgow, etc etc.

    CH4 is wonderful stuff.

    (I realise that you understand this, but there are those who don’t.)

  31. Diane
    July 10, 2021

    J Bush-above: Tend to agree with your comment. There is a Petition to Parliament titled : ‘Approve the Whitehaven Coal Mine in Cumbria’ and runs until 29 September & has only 897 signatures to date ( Petition number is 575109 )

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