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29 August, 2005

Cut off

I've received a letter from my electricity supplier, informing me that their costs have increased, so prices are increasing.  Fair enough, and unsurprising.
The new rates will be 10.32p/kWh + VAT (the logic of 'value added' tax on energy is an issue for a different entry...) for the first 200kWh of each quarter, then 8.17p/kWh thereafter.

Conceptually, isn't that the wrong way round?  Shouldn't the first units be the cheaper ones, and subsequent ones be more expensive, as an encouragement to minimise energy usage?  Under the current model, there's no especial incentive to switch off lights, etc.

I'm aware that my alternative would penalise those justifiably using more electricity, such as young families, but it couldn't be too difficult to establish a scheme whereby those able to prove the necessity could operate with a higher quarterly threshold.

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