Clegg’s “landmark” energy scheme steals EDF’s thunder
You almost have to feel for EDF. Their headline-grabbing promise a fortnight ago to tell their customers if they could get cheaper bills has not just been copied, but well and truly pinched by the Deputy Prime Minister today.
In what the DPM’s press office call a “landmark deal” between the Big Six energy firms and the Coalition, Nick Clegg announced all of the Big Six will now be obliged to do exactly that. In writing, every year. Sometimes twice a year for vulnerable customers.
It’s not so much jumping the bandwagon, more like stealing the thunder and pretending you’re the one who conjured up the clouds.
You can’t really blame Clegg for nicking the idea – this sort of tit for tat policy grabbing is classic Commons behaviour. You can be sure David Cameron will have cherry-picked good news Coalition stories to announce himself countless times over.
Normally I spend my life exasperated with the bland responses from energy firms’ press offices. But I can only feel sorry for the EDF media team – with their Blue +Price promise, they probably felt they had the edge in the tight competition for consumer-friendly PR.
What’s more, EDF has really needed it after languishing at the bottom of Consumer Focus’s complaints league two times running.
The French energy firm can at least console itself the tariff agreement doesn’t quite go the whole EDF hog and include a promise to say if other firms have cheaper tariffs (which is what the Blue +Price customers are meant to get).
But then, that was about as likely as Cameron opening PMQ’s one morning with the words: “Hey, Miliband mate, there’s this BRILLIANT vote-winning policy we’ve been brainstorming over on our benches – why don’t we share it with you?”