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Greg Jackson, CEO, Octopus Energy: Today, lobbyists, consultants and entrenched interests risk similarly stifling the transition to renewable energy. While it is inevitable that we will decarbonise energy, it could end up taking a lot longer than necessary, and costing vastly more. Insidiously, the costs are buried deep in the system, making them opaque and regressive as they flow through to energy bills. We have had a regressive two-tier energy system for decades, where customers who don’t “engage” have been charged up to 50 per cent more than those who do (and even worse for those on prepay meters). This has been tempered by the energy price cap – but is still a feature of incumbents’ pricing models. Note that this “engagement” has no impact on the overall cost of the energy system, it just shifts costs from some customers to others – mainly benefiting high income households at the expense of low-income households. One observer repeats the dangerous myth that challenger brands at the heart of much of the innovation in the market are not that interested in attracting vulnerable customers because they are likely to come with bigger costs to serve. He says: “You have customers who are proactively engaged, they are tech savvy and have the ability to seek out the best deals and take advantage of decarbonising their house and fundamentally reducing their energy bills.” This is, frankly, rubbish.

Utility Week 21st Oct 2020 read more »

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