Public Update – 22 September 2010 (further updates below)
To all ‘At Cost Energy’ supporters and registrants;
As you may be aware the founder of At Cost Energy, Matt Stockdale was forced to pull back from all business interests earlier this year due to ill health. Following surgery Matt's symptoms have persisted and as a consequence his general health has been affected.
As Matt was unable to continue driving the ‘At Cost’ initiative forward, attempts were made to pass controlling interest of the company to the remaining directors. Regrettably due to tax issues agreement was not reached and subsequently the company supporting the At Cost Energy initiative ceased trading. Matt is naturally saddened by recent events and made the following comment;
“Firstly my sincere apologies to everyone affected by my illness, not least the staff who worked tirelessly towards achieving our objective of supplying energy at cost. The past 4 months or so have really tested me and if I am quite honest I am actually really struggling with the circumstances that I find myself in. This aside, I am grateful for the hundreds of letters and emails from caring people up and down the country who have contacted me to wish me well…coupled with the support from my family and friends, I'm slowly on the mend, thank you all. I don’t know what the future holds…but God willing you haven’t heard the last of me just yet... right now I must focus on getting better and looking after my family…”
What will happen to my details the company holds on its database?
Silencing his critics, Matt has instructed that the details of every ‘At Cost Energy’ registrant be permanently deleted from the company’ servers. All registration information provided will be completely destroyed.
Will At Cost Energy happen in the future?
This is an impossible question to answer right now, but with the cost of energy predicted to rise, let’s hope so. Clearly some good has already come from the At Cost Energy initiative; with 10’s of thousands of consumers voicing their growing concerns about the retail cost of energy. Matt has said in the past that people power will change the industry, so keep speaking out and talking about the day when energy is provided to our homes on a not-for-profit basis, why? Because energy is a basic human right!
Public Update – April 2011
From: Matt Stockdale, founder of At Cost Energy
Thank you so much for your continued and unwavering support during a very difficult year for my family and I.
Treatments are ongoing, however I have turned a massive corner, physically and mentally and I have returned to work. I would like to apologise again to everyone who was affected by my illness last year. As a believer of fate I have doubted that everything happens for a reason. Bearing in mind, that all I was trying to do was help people. How does taking me out of the picture seem fair? It doesn’t, hence my confusion. At the time the ‘At Cost Energy’ idea was so vivid and so achievable, yet in my darkest hours, seemed so far away.
My beliefs that energy is a basic human right has NOT changed, however what has changed is my ability to change the industry on my own. I have always maintained that public pressure will bring about the change necessary to reduce energy costs, not me. Perhaps illness was the only thing that made me realise that.
As a very determined individual, it has been hard for me to accept that I may have taken on too much, the idea was sound and my intentions genuine and heart felt. However even with the 10’s of thousands of interested parties, there simply wasn’t enough public momentum to cause change. With energy costs still rising perhaps its time we ALL take some responsibility?
So here’s my plan B…but first ask yourself...
Do you really care about the rising cost of energy? I mean, really care? At what point will YOU actually do something about it?
Would you be prepared to collect the signatures from the people in your street for a petition? Yes, then read on…
I have recently written to the Energy Minister urging him to review the ‘Renewables Obligation’ - a stealth premium included in ALL our bills.
Never heard of it? That’s not surprising as its not readily explained. Simply put, it’s a charge of around £13-15 per household, per year, collected by suppliers, but hidden (they will use the word included ;-)) within their tariffs. This is a licence obligation imposed by the regulator, OFGEM.
What is it for?
As the name suggests it’s a lame effort at encouraging the generation of greener, cleaner energy. The regulator then expects suppliers to spend this amount of cash on environmental friendly initiatives, if they don’t, they are penalised. It’s very complex and expensive to administer.
Have you ever received FREE light bulbs from your energy supplier? Yes, well guess what? They weren’t free at all! The supplier was simply avoiding being penalised and took the easiest route to ‘tick the box’…in doing so made the bulb supplier millions of pounds! A fair and good use of our money? No, certainly not.
Sometimes the most obvious solutions are right in front of us…what if the suppliers were NOT forced to spend our money? Instead they hand it over to a public owned, not-for-profit organistaion, whose primary purpose is to produce public owned energy! Imagine that!
Do the math’s…26 million homes in the UK, each contributing £15 each per year… the annual figure would be circ £390 million, each and EVERY year! Your money, our money.
Personally I do not want my contribution spent on light bulbs or similar, instead wouldn’t it be great if the public owned its own power generation facilities? Meaning we become less and less reliant on the energy giants.
Let me put the above amount of money into context, in just over a year, we the public, could own our very own wind farm. (A modest one is around £500m) Within a short space of time our money could be generating and contributing electricity into the grid, promoting healthy competition and driving prices down. Infuriatingly, we have ALL been handing over this extra cash to our suppliers for years! Annoyed? You should be.
So…are you ready to put a petition together that states, you want this changed? Are you ready to collect signatures from the houses in your street? Do you think you could persuade someone in the next street to do the same?
If yes, then copy and paste this text into the top of your petition, get your neighbours to agree and hand the petition into your MP and your local newspaper:
To whom it may concern;
As elected leaders of our country you are duty bound to represent the interests of myself and the undersigned, all residents of <insert your street name and post code> .
We, the undersigned, demand that the Renewables Obligation governed by the Utilities Act 2000 be reviewed as a matter of urgency. The objective of our petition is to support the prompt replacement of the Obligations scheme with a public owned fund, which will invest its proceeds into generating 100% renewable energy on behalf of the public.
The current scheme is cumbersome, complicated and bureaucratic and serves only those who profit from the sale of electricity, and not the interests of the public, whose energy costs continue to soar.
A new environmental fund will enable the British public to invest, acquire and own ‘environmentally friendly’ power generation technology. This will facilitate the generation and contribution of electricity to the power grid, promoting healthy competition and will drive costs down.
After the announcements of yet more record profits from energy giants at the expense of the bill payer, greater competition must be allowed to flourish.
We the undersigned propose that the contributions currently collected by the energy suppliers continue to be collected in the usual way, via our energy bills. Once collected and processed the supplier is obligated to transfer these monies to a public owned, not-for-profit fund. It is our expectation that the individuals caring for these public funds will prepare monthly accounts allowing for complete transparency of trading activity or investment. Further to this it is our expectation that the organisation will pay its staff in line with that of similar industries, shall not have London based offices and shall be accountable for every last penny of our money.
We, the undersigned, demand that our leaders act without further delay, in order to best serve the public that elected them.
I sign this petition of my own free will, and confirm that I have not been coerced or misled into signing this document. I am a voter.
House No Print Name Signature
(end of copy and paste area)
1. We are already paying into the Obligations scheme so there is no additional financial impact on you at all. A point you need to get across to your neighbours.
2. If this works, we the general public, will be generating our own electricity…this can only be good for us all.
3. So get on Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and whatever other social networking sites you use and spread the word!
Thank you once again for your support, patience and belief.