Fair Energy Summit - Live coverage - The Independent

Fair Energy Summit

  • The fair energy summit is just beginning, you can watch it live here or follow our text blog.

    Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is the Key Note Speaker and our very own Simon Read is on the panel.
    12/17/2012 10:13:59 AM
  • Tony Cocker, Chief Executive of E.ON, is up now talking about 'Fair pricing'. He says half of the bill is energy costs, a quarter is network costs, a further portion is government social initiatives and the final portion operating costs and profits.

    He says the recent increase in prices was partly driven by wholesale costs but mainly due to network costs and social initiative costs.
    12/17/2012 10:17:48 AM
  • Cocker says he welcomes a discussion on what makes up their bills.
    12/17/2012 10:18:21 AM
  • Cocker says the only cost driver they can influence is operating costs. He says the way to help customers is through simple tariffs and energy efficiency measures that allow the customer to save on energy.
    12/17/2012 10:20:30 AM
  • 200,000 customers have moved to E.ON's simpler tariffs since they were introduced in October says Cocker.
    12/17/2012 10:21:10 AM
  • Simon Read now gives his view, saying customers see a clear connection between rising bills and rising profits. He says there has also been years of poor practice, citing winter price rises, complex tariffs and poor customer service, meaning people can't understand whether they're paying a fair price or not. Read finishes by saying only complete transparency will return consumer confidence.
    12/17/2012 10:23:59 AM
  • Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, is now speaking, criticising the "pack mentality" of energy companies. She says energy companies first need to get straight their own common line on why energy prices are rising.
    12/17/2012 10:25:29 AM
  • Paul Lewis, the Chair, accuses E.ON's Tony Cocker of putting the onus for price rises on everyone else and the onus for bills on the customers.

    Ed Davey says they need to state more clearly that higher costs are the help the fuel poor.
    12/17/2012 10:27:33 AM
  • Phil Bentley, Managing Director of British Gas, says we have the lowest prices for gas in Europe and profits on average across the industry are 4-5%, arguing that competition is working for the industry.
    12/17/2012 10:28:57 AM
  • Nigel Mason, Business Development Manager, Cooperative Energy is now up. He says he doesn't think the reforms proposed go far enough. He says they don't prepare consumers for changes coming down the line in terms of energy saving.

    He says that the market system is established around the model of a "rational economic consumer" who is well-informed and can compare tariffs. Mason says there are only a small minority who do this.
    12/17/2012 10:33:17 AM
  • Mason says as in banking there is a 'mono-culture' and its not surprising that they act as a herd.
    12/17/2012 10:34:18 AM
  • Paul Lewis asks Mason, why don't you have more customers if you're one of the cheapest? Mason says it's the structure of the market and the fact people feel there's no point in switching as they're all the same.
    12/17/2012 10:36:40 AM
  • Reg Platt, Research Fellow at think-tank IPPR, is speaking now. He says transiency needs to be improved in the wholesale market and says the government should consider restriction of self-supply.
    12/17/2012 10:37:54 AM
  • E.ON's Tony Cocker says they are focused on their existing customers, don't self-supply and sell all energy on the wholesale market.
    12/17/2012 10:40:01 AM
  • Phil Bentley, Managing Director of British Gas, criticises the Co-op for not paying environmental or social rates that the big six are required to pay, the trade-off being that the Big Six can bulk buy gas.
    12/17/2012 10:41:20 AM
  • Bentley now picks up on tackling energy poverty, efficiency and support for vulnerable. He says Ed Davey is the most effective Energy Secretary he's seen and is on the right track.
    12/17/2012 10:42:47 AM
  • Bentley says prices are expected to rise but bills and consumption don't have to, thanks to energy efficiency.
    12/17/2012 10:43:57 AM
  • He says we have the worst housing stock in Europe due to 100 years of under investment.
    12/17/2012 10:44:32 AM
  • Tom Wright, Group CEO of Age UK, is up now, agreeing that housing stock is poor and needs major investment to improve energy efficiency.
    12/17/2012 10:47:42 AM
  • Wright says more needs to be done to identify vulnerable people who are eligible for discounts. He closes by saying we must discuss those who don't use gas, saying oil is totally unregulated.
    12/17/2012 10:49:15 AM
  • Nicola Smith, Policy Adviser for Barnardos, says energy efficiency will be single biggest way to reduce feel bills and says more money needs to be spent on it, money that needs to come from governments.
    12/17/2012 10:50:38 AM
  • Smith says more needs to be done to crack down on private landlords who aren't adequately looking after their properties. Lewis puts it to Davey that benefit cuts will be devastating in terms of fuel payments. Davey says his department has worked hard to make sure adequate systems are in place for help with fuel poverty.
    12/17/2012 10:52:52 AM
  • Simon Read is back up. He says the number of deaths each year because people can't afford to pay fuel bills is a scandal - 24,000 excess winter death last year, estimated a third due to fuel poverty.
    12/17/2012 10:54:31 AM
  • Phil Bentley urges anyone who can't afford to pay their bills to phone their supplier, saying no one should be in that position. Bentley also says fuel allowance should be means tested to better route the money to those in need.
    12/17/2012 10:55:52 AM
  • Reg Platt, Research Fellow at IPPR, says energy efficiency is both the most cost effective and best way to reduce fuel poverty.
    12/17/2012 10:57:35 AM
  • Davey says the government are spending a lot already on energy efficiency and he doesn't want to pre-empt further budget announcements on spending.
    12/17/2012 10:58:15 AM
  • Davey says the current way of measuring fuel poverty is flawed as those in grinding poverty are not properly identified.
    12/17/2012 10:59:22 AM
  • Paul Lewis is now summarizing. He says everyone agrees there is a problem, but everyone seems to be blaming each other. He says it's worrying that one of the groups being blamed seems to be the customer, implying that the only way to lower cost is to cut consumption, which will force people to choose between "heating and eating" as Simon Read put it earlier.
    12/17/2012 11:00:55 AM
  • That's it from the summit. Thanks for following our live blog.
    12/17/2012 11:02:18 AM
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