The former boss of an energy trade body has admitted he is “partly to blame” for the mistrust of energy suppliers.
In an interview with ELN David Porter, one-time chief executive of the Association of Electricity Producers suggested he should have told politicians more strongly to keep their nose out of the industry.
However he said responsibility also lies with industry for not explaining to the public what suppliers do. ELN’s full interview with him will be published on the site later this week.
The confession comes as Porter releases his new book reflecting on the trials, tribulations and successes in energy since privatisation.
Called ‘Electricity Supply: The British Experiment’ the 300-odd word tome ranges from his experience in the late 1980s helping promote independent generators – or the “bunch of guerrillas” as Porter describes them – in their “David vs Goliath” battle for fair treatment with the state power plants under the Central Electricity Generating Board.
He went on to represent some of the largest energy suppliers, at the AEP and briefly in 2012 when three trade groups merged into the current trade body, Energy UK.
In the book, subtitled ‘The intentions were good’, Porter claims political attempts to tinker with energy have damaged investor confidence.
He recalls one recent instance in his introduction to the book: “Sitting across the table from me, four managers of investment funds each with billions of pounds at his disposal, declared that it was impossible to recommend investment in the industry.”
Later he writes the “roots” of today’s problem of reputation and trust “can be traced back to the way the privatised industry stumbled through its early years, with too little attention to communication and image issues”.
It is available from today at Mereo Books, an imprint of Memoirs Publishing, available on +44 (0)1285 640485 or online.