Saturday, October 12

SSE Energy Supply Ltd put a spin on the numbers

Just been analysing some statements made by SSE Energy Supply Ltd about their price increases this week and spotted inconsistencies between their press release (eagerly reported by The Daily Mail etc.) and their web page about bill costs.

As mentioned in the previous post about the Daily Mail, the average bill can be split into proportions spent on SSE operations.

Here are some of the figures from their public page:

52% is purchasing energy..
8% is for renewables, energy saving for homes etc and subsidising energy for vulnerable people.
6% is for IT and bill managment!

Whilst here we have the 'political' press release from SSE, supporting their 'views':

In the press release SSE state that energy efficiency measures, supporting renewable energy and helping vulnerable people account for £100 of the average bill (8% based on the SSE web page pie chart). So they are basically stating the average bill is £1250 per year and £75 of that is required to manage their web site, post bills and support IT etc. Yep, £75 to burn energy to run a load of computer servers and pay staff to phone you up when you haven't paid a bill.

Note that in the press release SSE do not mention what percentage of the bill the £100 is, but of course it sounds a lot until you realise the total bill is £1250. They also imply that the environmental support and 'social schemes' are taxes, which they know when regarding renewable energy support is incorrect (renewables are not supported through taxes and placing the costs of renewables on a bill is not a tax). The following quote is from page 2 of the press release:
"You pay for the costs of government taxes collected through energy bills and these costs have more than trebled since 2005 
Over recent years, successive Governments have introduced a number of energy policies which are paid for through your energy bills. These costs make up around 10% of your bill and pay for..." 
( Note that in the press release, the 8% from the web page pie chart is rounded up to 10%!)

What is enlightening is that the press release includes renewables with 'social schemes'. That says more than anything else about SSEs management attitudes towards climate change and carbon emissions reduction. If a company saw the real need to cut carbon emissions and saw it as an essential energy policy to combat climate change and establish green energy as their core business, they would not lump them in with 'social schemes'.

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