pabenny wrote: ↑
Wed Mar 02 2022 9:10am
macliam wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 27 2022 1:51pm
I also think the time has come to stop the "standing charge" ripoff and recover infrastructure costs from the unit price..... without penalizing the consumer. My responsibility, as a consumer, is not to guarantee the supplier a fixed basic cost for their services.... I don't do it for supermarkets or petrol stations, why should I do it for an energy company?
For some services - telecoms, music and video streaming - the amount we pay is fixed, irrespective of usage. Of course it's not described as a standing charge, but in essence it's the same thing.
Incorporating standing charges into the unit rate has some regressive consequences
- owners of second homes (typically well-off people) end up contributing relatively little to fixed costs;
- Low income households are likely to be over-represented amongst high energy consumers - with poorly insulated rental properties, inefficient heating and appliances that they are unable to change.
The same is true of supermarkets and petrol stations... however, I then have the choice of which to use. If a supermarket charged £5 for entry, they'd lose customers, worse, if a supermarket totted up your bill and then added £5 on top for unspecified extras, they'd lose customers.
There is no way that services where the cost of a product is not restricted by availability but defined by the transport mechanism (such as broadband, telcommunications or streaming) can be compared with products where there is an item cost for the product being supplied - this is a battle that has been lost by the suppliers of broadband.
There is a requirement for energy supply to all households and even the gas supply network has expanded over past years - not because of a fixed charge, but to gain custom. The argument that removing the standing charge would be regressive is poppycock..... the amount gained by charging those who use little energy is easily offset by the sponge of an unregulated fixed charge ripping off ALL customers. If a charge is applicable at all, it should be regulated and equal across ALL suppliers - because ALL suppliers face the same network costs..... it should not be a toothless recommendation which suppliers can ignore in an attempt to gain extra income.
Of course, there is a simpler way to stop the rip off..... necessary utilities should not be in the private sector, so that profit is not a factor. Privatised utilities are merely a continuous game between the companies and the regulator - if the companies had the customer's interest at heart, regulation would be unnecessary.... insted we all pay extra for the poacher and the gamekeeper, thanks to privatization.