FURTHER to Brian Lawson’s long letter on Mar 31 about standing charges, let me share the response I received from my electricity supplier when I lodged a complaint about how they justified their price increase. I requested an explanation in plain English for why the unit price and standing charge were increasing. Here’s the explanation and I leave the readers to figure out what this drivel means! I’m minded to ask Ofgem for their explanation.

“The costs of renewable energy is heavily impacted by rising gas prices because of the importance of gas-fired power stations as the marginal unit to meet demand and this is the most significant driver of the increase in wholesale electricity prices. Renewable electricity prices are also influenced by the cost of carbon allowances, these allowances have also increased significantly in 2021 and 2022.

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“Carbon prices add to the cost of electricity prices because it is a marginal cost for non-renewable generation which must buy carbon allowances to offset their carbon emissions. Also, some more localised factors during 2021 have impacted our renewable sources of energy, ie low wind. A lot of renewable costs are covered by the green levy and at times more expensive than wholesales price why when [sic] the regulator increases the price cap it does this for all fuels. The standard charge covers the pipework carried out by the regulator in each area and also is going towards covering the costs of energy lost by the suppliers that went into administration.”

Andy Lippok
via email

IN 1847, at a meeting about the abuses of land owners in the north-east of Scotland who were exporting grain for high profits and pricing out local sales while the local people starved, a speaker said: “We trampled-upon people, we the plundered and long-suffering people, we the tyrannised and insulted people have gathered together and in phalanx formed have shown the appalled and affrighted aristocrats the moral might and physical strength of our democracy.” (Julian Harney, Chartist, Aberdeen, January 1847).

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We are presently seeing energy of all types being plundered from Scotland by the modern corporate aristocrats, for large profits and little or no benefit to Scotland, while the poor of Scotland once again go cold and hungry simply to filltheir already burgeoning coffers in the City of London.

Where is the public outrage and action that saw this deliberate attack on the poorest stopped in 1847, so local people could be fed in the Western Islands and north-east Scotland, in today’s Scotland?

What has actually changed in over 150 years when it comes to London’s dealings with Scotland?

Where has the moral might and physical strength of our (Scottish) democracy gone?

Peter Thomson

I ENJOYED, as always, Hamish MacPherson’s history of the Lowland clan Bruce (March 29), and would like to add a little further to that in order to bring it up to a more recent date.

My neighbour on Sheriffmuir for many years was Bernard Bruce, who lived at Cauldhame, and was the seventh son of the ninth Earl of Elgin, born posthumously on July 12 1917. His widowed mother would later marry Jack Stirling of Kippendavie, whom he would succeed as laird of Cauldhame, which would be his home for the rest of his days.

Hon Bernard Bruce would go on to join the Scots Guards early in the Second World War, and would eventually serve with the Long Range Desert Group behind the enemy lines in the North African campaign, where for the best part of three years they would cause widespread mayhem and disaster

for Rommel and the occupying German forces.

Bernard was in charge of G2 (Guards) Patrol, and would be rewarded with the MC for his work behind enemy lines. I feel that he and his record are largely forgotten now, as these events from the past disappear into the distance of time. Perhaps this small contribution will keep his memory alive.

George M Mitchell