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Npower’s statement is not new. Journalists, please stop giving them free advertising



by sjhoward

This is the 2,088th post. It was published at 08:31 on Monday, 2nd December 2013.

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Npower says it will not raise prices any more until spring 2015 unless wholesale costs go up.

BBC News, 2nd December 2013.

The energy provider which raised bills by more than 10% says no more rises until 2015 – provided wholesale costs remain stable.

Sky News, 2nd December 2013.

What reasons have been given for Npower’s previous price rises?

npower today announced its electricity and gas prices will increase by 9.3% and 11.1% respectively* from 1 December [due to] the cost of buying wholesale energy up 3% from this year.

Npower, 21st October 2013.

From 4th January 2011, domestic gas and electricity tariffs will increase on average by 5% [due to] an increase of 50% in wholesale prices during the last twelve months.

Npower, 12th December 2010.

npower announces price increases due to soaring wholesale costs

Npower, 29th August 2008.

npower today announced plans for new energy prices for domestic customers with an average increase of 9.9% for electricity and 17.2%* for gas from 1 October … due to massive increases in wholesale costs.

Npower, 7th September 2006.

npower today announced plans for new retail gas and electricity tariffs, for domestic customers, following increases in wholesale gas costs of almost 50% in the last 12 months.

Npower, 11th November 2005.

As far back as Npower’s press release archive stretches, I can’t find a single incident of them raising retail prices without blaming increases in wholesale prices. Announcing that they are to stick to this policy in future amounts to a non-story, which should not be receiving acres of coverage.


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London’s commuters are deluded



by sjhoward

This is the 2,081st post. It was published at 08:55 on Tuesday, 12th November 2013.

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You could only walk two months of the year, the rest of the time the weather is too terrible.

According to the Standard, this was the response of Laura Ritchie, a digital project manager, to TfL’s suggestion that she should consider walking instead of taking the tube.

Another commuter, Laura Belcher, added

Waiting for three tubes means I’m not in the cold and rain

There are many reasons why some might view getting the tube as easier than walkng, but these two exemplify an odd delusion which many Londoners appear to share: that the weather in London is terrible.

I spend a few days each week in London, and have done since February. I always take a 45 minute-ish walk into work from London Bridge to Westminster along the South Bank, except when I’m towing a suitcase. I have attempted to walk on 83 mornings this year so far, and have managed perfectly well (without needing even to take my umbrella out of my bag) 82 times. This morning marked the first occasion that rain convinced me to take the tube.

I have absolutely no earthly idea why people think it constantly rains in London. Either I’ve been preternaturally lucky and tried to walk in on the only 82 mornings when it hasn’t rained, or people have a distorted view of London’s weather. In fact, London has less rainfall each year than Rome, New York, Brisbane, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Perhaps if people had a reality check on what the weather is actually like most of the time, then they’d feel happier with walking – which would probably benefit their health even more than it would reduce TfL’s congestion problem.


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No freakin’ clue



by sjhoward

This is the 2,060th post. It was published at 21:41 on Wednesday, 4th September 2013.

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We have no freakin’ clue. And that’s my expert opinion.

Entomologist Gwen Pearson on what is leaving freaky tiny web-like structures in the Peruvian Amazon. I bet they are made by some evil spider-like creature that would give me nightmares…!


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