Nick Clegg’s confusion on total and absolute heating costs

Nick Clegg has made a mistake on the leader’s debate.

He said that an old couple in a small house are paying more for their heating than somebody in a bit mansion. This is simply not true. A large home costs far more to heat than a small one. What is true is that

a) You pay a fixed charge per property. Some companies spread this over the first few units. Therefore the average overall cost per unit is less.

b) Some of the poor who have a poor or no payment history have to use pre-payment meters. This does not include the settled poor, who have faithfully paid their bills all their lives.

c) The rates paid are hugely different between those who shop around and those who do not. If you know of people who are unable to effectively shop around, then do, as I have, and help them switch. For instance uswitch.com is a good starting point.

Nick Clegg’s mistake is to confuse marginal and actual costs.

But remember – when all the political leader tout their green credentials, they are actually saying that they will increase the costing of heating. Wind power, or nuclear, or tidal, or solar panels are all far more costly than coal and oil.

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