December 06, 2011


You may recall that I was belly-aching about my electric bill.

There have been some developments, chief among them are the energy suppliers own admission that there is no law/statute to support their grabbing extra money from us all.

Want to see their letter?

Here you go:

Click pic to embigulate

Want to see my reply?

Here you go:

"Thank you for your letter dated 21 November 2011. I apologise for my late reply. I was in West Africa for four weeks and I have only just returned.

The missing letter you refer to is enclosed. It is dated 28 September and wrongly (I later realised) requested information under the FOIA. I have since learnt that FOI requests are only for government departments. The questions, however, remain relevant. In your latest reply, you contradict yourself. You openly state (in Para 5) that there is no Act that mandates collection of additional monies from your customers, and then (in Para 6) you state that social and environmental costs are determined by the government.

How does this determination take place? Did Scottish and Southern Energy simply receive a memo from the government and decide to take this money from their customers? It makes no sense. I formally withdraw my consent for you to charge me even a fraction of a penny extra for these mysterious, unwarranted and non-mandatory charges for social & environmental costs. Please refund me by the end of this month. I simply do not believe that you cannot separate the charges. Someone, somewhere in your organisation has to add them. It stands to reason that they can subtract them as well. Please determine what the figure is and credit my account accordingly.

I am not being deliberately obtuse. I have studied the so-called “science” and I know it has more holes than a colander. I refuse to take part in what I view as a scam. This planet needs CO2. Without CO2, trees die. Without trees, we die. It’s that simple. Any attempt to extract money is daylight robbery. The IPCC are famous for their lies. I will not pay exorbitant energy rates on the back of a series of lies.

On the other hand, if it is investors in newer, cleaner technologies you need, go to the market, pitch your ideas and find investors there. I’ll pay for the new technology when it arrives and not before. I am not an investor in Scottish & Southern Energy: I am a consumer.

You will also note (in my letter dated 28 September) that I requested a meter check. Please arrange for this as soon as possible. Something is wrong. We are not consuming what you say we consume.

Lastly, this is not a complaint. I am merely trying to find out why I am paying so much and how I can reduce that amount."

Just a short while ago the lady phoned me. It didn't take long to drag out the truth: they cannot* provide a source for this blatant theft, although, bless her, she did try to get me on side by saying "The environment is in a mess. Surely you agree that we should all play a part in making it better for the children to come?".

I explained a few things to her. Things like "hiding the decline", bent scientists, and the fact that global warming climate change extreme weather has been happening on & off for millenia. I gave a few examples, such as a tidal surge in the Netherlands in the 1400's that killed over 100,000 people. I went on, I freely admit, for some minutes. "Oh," she says, "You really know this stuff". I confessed that I knew a little, but what I knew for sure was that this is a global scam and the Borg lap it up. "How much? No problem! Take all my money! If it's for the children, and if the government says so, then it must be true".

I did say that I understood how businesses work. That I knew that they need to make a profit so that they can earn big fat salaries while old folks freeze to death they can re-invest in their infrastructure, and that I had no issues with that. I asked her to justify this three-or fourfold increase in just 18 months.

*she said, towards the end of the conversation, that "they had the instruction from the government" but that they never share it with consumers. I said that I doubted such an instruction existed but if it did, I wanted to see it. She said she would try to get it out to me. I will not hold my breath.

Anyhoo, make up your own minds. Did they just admit that they are doing this off their own back, because they believe those lying scientists? Or have I misread it?

Let me know.

BTW, page two (which I didn't bother scanning) is chock full of information about how I can progress my "complaint". All I did was ask questions. Since when did asking some simple questions become a complaint?



William said...

Ask any corporate body a question and it will always be turned into a complaint by the corporate bodies employees.
Banks do it instantly by changing the wording of the question asked.
Utility companies seem to have to go through a 'drone process' before it reaches someone with more 'nounce' or authority and then the magic change from query to complaint happens.

They then go on to say they have dealt with the complaint and they consider it closed!

Anonymous said...

"Anyhoo, make up your own minds. Did they just admit that they are doing this off their own back, because they believe those lying scientists? Or have I misread it?"

I suppose they go along with what they are told to do, and some who think they know what some scientists say is correct. Some even have people believing that if you put something in to a system (any system) it will have no effect.

Sue said...

Blimey, where's me magnifying glass :) Can you blow it up please? Not literally of course.

Anonymous said...

I think they are trying to deal with the ageing population.
Welcome to Sparta?
Or is that too tin foil hat?

James Higham said...

Well done. I've been in the middle of a battle with two utilities over such like and it is now finally coming to resolution. You have to stand firm, knowing you're on sound ground.

wayne said...

Managed to read it, cheeky bastards. Good for you mate.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Funny you should post on this CR, as I have just been through the same conversation with Southern Electric who, as you no doubt know, are part of SSE.

They provided the following breakdown of how their bill is calculated:

19% - distribution costs
12% - metering side and customer services
9% - Renewables Obligation
5% - VAT
55% - energy costs, ie cost of the electricity.

Like you letter and intend 'cribbing'........

Captain Ranty said...


Those people who answer FOI's must go on a special course. They are black belts in not answering questions.


Captain Ranty said...

Anon (18:41),

I kind of agree.

This sort of edict comes from those at the very top of the company. The mid-level drones don't make decisions like this.

How many of us are paying this extra 9% or 12% for no valid reason?


Captain Ranty said...


I have no idea how to make it bigger. It works for me when I click the image.

One pal suggested that you should download it, open it in fax viewer and zoom in.


Captain Ranty said...

Anon (19:09),

That thought did flash across my small brain, but I dismissed it.

Not subtle enough.


Captain Ranty said...


I have no idea which way this will go.

They seem confused. One letter said I had to pay £357 per month, then it dropped to £225, then it went up to £310.

They did take £357 from my account in November, then said sorry!


Captain Ranty said...

Thanks Wayne!

It's not over yet though....


Captain Ranty said...


That list looks similar to the one she read out over the phone but she confused herself and couldn't decide whether "Renewables Obligation" (which we now know is NOT an obligation) was 9 or 12%.

Just totted up those figures:

The add up to 100%.

And no mention of company profits.

Are they making a loss? Supplying energy out of kindness?

The plot sickens.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

CR: 'Profits come under the 55% figure but she could not give a 'figure' - an outstanding query which she has promised to reply to........

Captain Ranty said...

The wifey I spoke to just said "it's very low".

I believed her.

I believed her right up until energy companies had to declare their numbers about a week later.

Very low my arse.


Anonymous said...

You're on great form this week CR. That letter was hilarious. Going on the apparent 180 between paras 5 and 6, they don't seem to have a clue, or any consistency at the least. Unless, of course, they are unwittingly admitting something else is going on behind the scenes... I mean, you could look at it as the Energy Bandit actually stating that the extra charges it lumps on the top have no basis even in statute law, going by what their understanding of things is. Can open? Worms everywhere? :-D

Cracking response too.

I imagine even at this stage you are dealing with people fairly low on the ladder and the type of questions you've posed aren't present in any of the standard cribsheets ;-) Most corporations have a "complaints policy" but I know of few if any that have a "Questions Policy"...

On the picture - If you right click on it when "embigulated" and then select "view image" it should open in another browser tab just as a normal picture would do. You can also do that by right-clicking on the small version in the article and selecting "open in new tab" or whatever similar option people have depending on their browser. It may show the whole image in the browser window at first but it should be "clickable" so you can zoom in on it. Although, as has been mentioned, downloading also works.



FrankC said...

CR @ 20.52 :- "£357 per month, then it dropped to £225, then it went up to £310."
Even at £225 per month, that's an awful lot. Are you running a marijuana farm?

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Captain.

As for the FOI, instead of asking Scottish Hydro Electric for the info (as, as you point out, they have no obligation to provide), why not ask the Govt. what advice / instructions they have given Scottish Hydro Electric regarding the same?

Mr. Frost

Stealthy said...

I would love be a fly on the wall as they process your correspondence, me thinks your on a roll :P

OBO 110X said...

The killer question to any climate change nutter is:

Can you explain why the historic records, from ice samples, show that carbon dioxide levels lag temperature increases?

You may may want to add on to the end of that "you braindead moron"


Anonymous said...

> One letter said I had to pay £357 per month
Dear God! I pay a tenth of that.

Mind you, I cancelled my direct debit some years ago when, after changing suppliers, I discovered just how long it takes to get your money back from them if you've overpaid (several months, which I'm sure wouldn't have been acceptable if I owed them money). Now I pay only what I owe based on real, not estimated meter readings. I'd recommend everyone does the same.

subrosa said...

There's an idea. I'm not going to start with NPower but I'll start with my MSP and ask him to provide the legislation which instructs NPower to deduct this scam money from me.

Will be done right away.

Anonymous said...


I've interestingly enough been on the phone to Scottish Hydro regarding my bill and I've now drastically cut my bill from around £60 a month to £15. It mean't simply stop using the computer as that was eating up loads ironically enough.
I spoke to them saying that I would be paying £25 a month instead of the £65 and they weren't happy stating that it would take too long to pay off my bill which they wanted done in a year and I said, tough, I signed no contract, you either accept what you get or you don't, your prerogative. The assistant then agreed to my conditions, as I said to him that the courts would back me and they could put on a debt collection agency to me, to which I'd ignore, as they'd have paid off my debt for me.

I said simply that I won't be bullied by any corporation, especially one that profiteers from the suffering, through constant rises of energy bills, even though there's no call for it as it's just greed. I said why is the price going up when they've secured the oil fields of Iraq and Libya?

Fuck them. They get what I can pay them and if they don't like it well......


Captain Ranty said...


I am getting some expert help from one of our regular commenters.

I don't mind paying what I owe but keep it fair, FFS!


William said...

Just got my 'final bill' from Scottishpower, am moving to another billing company, and as ever it is wrong, based on an estimate and the final meter readings but what is really important is the way they hide the 'green obligations'.

The provide a pie chart and a percentage breakdown thusly.
Wholesale electrickery cost is 42%
Delivering the energy to the home is 23%
Looking after 'your energy account' costs 20%
VAT and government obligations cost 20% (VAT on fuel is 5% so clearly the 'green obligations are 15% of final bill)

So Scottishpower are not in the least bit profitable.
Scottishpower must also provide my gas for free as it isn't featured in either chart or price list.
Everything Scottishpower writes on their bills is approved by the laughingly named 'industry regulator'!

To end I had an inside line going to a 'high up' in Scottishpowers billing division and she has been 'out of office' since 12th November. Could it be stress?

Another letter to the CEO is about to leave my e-mail account.
CEO e-mail addresses available here

Bill said...

The VAT & government obligations rate is 12% not 20%. Looking after energy account costs 26% not 23%! Old eyes, sorry.

bollixed said...

Will be doing likewise with our next leccy and gas bills. Nice one.

Anonymous said...

I'm liking this blog!

Respect to Captain Ranty & his motley crew!