Being fleeced? - Why not wear a fleece

Geese flying in formation. Picture: Kev Pointon
Geese flying in formation. Picture: Kev Pointon

As the birds fly south to warmer climes for winter I am often struck by how they manage to stay in formation and instinctively know which direction to migrate.

Some natural force, be it sunlight or temperature changes, sets them on their way.

It also amazes me how this marvel of communication in the natural world is mimicked by energy companies.

Each year at the same time without fail they change their prices all by the same amount and all in the same direction as if they have some sort of intuitive connection.

How does this work all on its own despite their rigorous attempts to compete in a free market and their selfless efforts to give their customers the best deals? It’s a right mystery is that one.

Fuel bills have become a scandal as the biggest suppliers in the £25bn a year industry make vast profits supplying gas and electricity to Britain’s 20 million families.

Yet again this year we are all going to be ripped off by about 10 per cent just before the big bills kick in.

And there are united threats of power cuts if we don’t cave in to their every whim.

Whatever a cost conscious consumer does it seems you will have to cough up and pay through your sniffling runny nose for it.

Those ugly solar panels cost thousands unless you are prepared to rent out your roof for 25 years.

You can get a Green Deal loan which pays for double glazing and insulation.

But the payments are added to your energy bills. And the bills of anyone who buys your house in the future.

Downing Street has suggested people who are struggling to afford the soaring tariffs should consider wearing jumpers to keep warm during the winter.

Thanks for the top tip Dave. All those years crouching in front of the electric fire in our underpants and vests. It just never entered our collective pleb consciousness.

As single bloke living on my own, I probably have one of the smallest carbon footprints in the northern hemisphere.

In winter, I heat one room up and peer through a gap in my 13 tog duvet wearing an ungainly fleece, long johns and thick socks.

I use energy saving light bulbs, turn my telly off standby at night and boil one cup of tea at a time.

There is only so much you can do before you eventually turn blue and your pipes freeze up.

And I still end up with a gas bill the size of a small country’s national debt every February.

I suppose I could take a leaf from nature’s book. Lacking the means to fly south for the winter, I’ll fill up on pies and hibernate in the cellar.

Wake me up in April.