The Price Of Power: Ministry of Justice Energy Bill Tops £1 Million

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http://www.energyhelpline.com calls for urgent review of Government fuel needs

Government Departments’ Headquarters Annual Gas & Electricity Bills

The Department of Energy and Climate Change should be leading the way on this so why are its suppliers different from every other department surveyed so far?

The Ministry of Justice HQ has an energy bill of more than £1 million a year enough to power a small town, according to official figures released today.

In 2008-09, the combined electricity and gas bill at the department’s nerve centre in Petty France, Westminster hit £1,224,080. The latest available figure for 2009-10 stands at £940,909 but only covers the April-December 2009 period and does not include some of the coldest months for 31 years.

The average family’s electricity bill is around £400, so what the Ministry of Justice is paying for its commercial and business electricity would be enough to cover a small town of more than 2,800 homes.

The figures are the highest released to date after a series of Freedom of Information requests to Government departments by independent price comparison website energyhelpline.com

Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline.com, said: “The huge Ministry of Justice energy bill will raise eyebrows among taxpayers who are being clobbered left, right and centre at the moment by public spending cuts and rising fuel prices. Out of all the Government departments we have contacted so far, this bill is the highest by a long way.

“At a time of savage public spending cuts, voters will want to know that Government departments are using energy efficiently and buying electricity and gas at the best prices, especially as many are struggling with rising fuel bills.

“The Government could do a lot worse than conduct a full audit of energy use across Whitehall and Westminster. Officials need to investigate the amount departments pay for their energy, review what energy tariffs they are on and demand energy is used more efficiently.”

The Ministry of Justice takes its electricity from EDF and its gas from Corona Energy and last reviewed electricity suppliers in September 2009.

Other ministries which responded to the Freedom of Information request about energy costs at their headquarters included:

Todd added: “The Government clearly has no problems paying its heating bills but we wish we could say the same for hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling to make ends meet.

“We need to be sure that the taxpayer is getting the best deal possible and it would be interesting to know why Whitehall departments are using different energy suppliers. Surely, they need to compare electricity prices, identify the cheapest tariffs and sign up to them using their collective bargaining power?

“The Department of Energy and Climate Change should be leading the way on this so why are its suppliers different from every other department surveyed so far?”

Note to editors:

1. The breakdown for the energy bill for the Ministry of Justice HQ is as follows:

2008-09: Electricity: £1,042,002; gas £182,078
Apr 2009-Dec 2009: Electricity: £851,086; gas £59,623. Annualised bill including Jan-Mar estimate £1,134,781 for electricity – enough to power almost 3,000 homes - and £79,497 for gas.

2. Departments and their energy suppliers:

  •      Home Office: £1,011,302 for electricity (EDF) and £39,300 (Corona Energy)
  •      Foreign Office: £819,186 electricity (EDF) and £7,256.96 gas (E.ON)
  •      Department for Transport: £613,923 electricity (EDF) and £15,896 for gas (Corona Energy)
  •      Department for Children, Schools and Families: £536,959 electricity (EDF) and £31,380 for gas (Corona Energy)
  •      Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: £354,800 electricity (EDF) and £35,700 gas (Corona Energy). No figures available for January – March
  •      Department of Energy and Climate Change: £148,517 electricity (Scottish Hydro Electric) and £37,630 gas (Total Gas & Power)
  •      Cabinet Office replied but no figures were available

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Mark Todd
Energyhelpline.com
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