Big energy capitalists use war as excuse to cash in

Domestic gas and electricity bills are set to triple this year, with the average annual household bill reaching an unpayable £3,000.

Low-income households, especially those on pre-payment meters, are faced with huge increases in ‘standing charges’, even before paying for the actual energy used. They will end up sitting in dark, freezing rooms.

Boris Johnson and the Tories will no doubt try to blame the war in Ukraine on soaring bills. But less than 1% of UK gas supplies come from Russia!

There is no global shortage of fossil fuels, and the price of extracting them from the ground has not shot up. However, we are now paying ten times more for North Sea gas then we did 12 months ago.

In other words, speculation has led to price gouging, with big oil and gas companies making billions more in profits without having to invest in extracting new supplies.

Moreover, since August, some 30 domestic energy supply companies have gone bust, leaving four million customers stranded. The cost of transferring over these customers to bigger companies amounts to a £4 billion bill, in total. This huge sum is now being charged to domestic customers.

Labour is calling for a one-off windfall tax on big energy corporations to mitigate the cost to consumers. But that won’t prevent more price gouging and profiteering in another 12 months’ time.

Only nationalisation of ‘big energy’ can stop customers being continually shafted by price hikes, and provide an economic tool to rationally plan energy supplies, shifting to renewables, and initiating a programme of insulating homes.

Simon Carter, East London Socialist Party