The particular set of untruths which is impressing me at the moment comes from NPower. They announced that they were putting their prices up by 9.8% and then proceeded to issue a string of dubious statements about the cause of this.
Firstly they tried to tell us that world energy prices have risen. Like all good propaganda this takes a small truth and uses it to build a giant falsehood. It is perfectly true that oil and gas prices have been rising on international markets for the past few months. It is also perfectly true that they plummeted like a stone over the two years prior to that and so there has been much more of a decrease than an increase over the past two years. The company was cautious about lowering its prices when their costs were coming down and should have had plenty of room to cover the recent small increases.
An increase in world oil prices is therefore not the reason why customers will have to pay more.
Since their first explanation was so thin the company then proceeded to tell us that the price rise was all the fault of the government. Governments, the company tells us, have been driving up the price of energy by insisting on increased use of alternative energy and by forcing companies to install smart meters. There is just one small problem with this theory. Most of it is also complete nonsense.
The price of alternative energy has been falling rapidly not rising. It is true that there is a larger proportion of alternative energy being used to generate electricity and that the headline prices of this are higher than fossil fuel prices. Unfortunately for the company it is also true that one of the prime reasons why fossil fuel prices have tumbled is because of the increased viability of alternative energy. Solar, wind and water power schemes continually get more effective. So do methods of improving the energy efficiency of homes, transport, workplaces, consumer products and industry. With rapid improvements underway to energy storage systems the alternative energy market is constantly exceeding expectations. It is increasingly obvious to all that we are nearing a technological tipping point. Since this trend is only going to continue and indeed to speed up there is little point in oil and gas producers sitting on their reserves. They have every incentive to pump as much as they can as rapidly as they can and that is why world oil and gas prices have dropped like a stone.
The producers are currently trying to enforce their last desperate attempt at a cartel to restrict supply but it is a fragile effort and cannot possibly work. The era of oil and gas won't end overnight but after the Paris agreement and the scale of investment that is now going into better alternatives means that the days of fossil fuel domination are strictly numbered. It is highly unlikely that oil and gas prices will ever go back to their peaks because demand is switching to alternative sources and there is a larger supply of fossilised technology than demand for its products.
So what then is the real reason for NPower to need to put up their prices? Simple. Most forms of energy supply are priced in dollars. The pound has plummeted against the dollar after Breixt. By some 20%. NPower now have to buy much of their energy production capability with a currency that has been devalued by a few far right politicians preaching the virtues of a very peculiar form of patriotism. The cost of that has to be passed on to the consumer. So the price has to rise.
But NPower don't dare identify the key source of their price rise as they have an energy regulator to worry about who is under the control of .... the same far right government who are pushing the case for an extreme Brexit. Far safer for the company to blame the price rise on all those crazy green activists who want us to produce our energy without putting the future of our planet at risk. Put simply they would rather issue confusing propaganda than identify the genuine reason why they really do need to put up their prices.
Brexit and the collapse of the pound are the obvious reasons why gas and electricity prices in the UK are going to have to rise. When your bill arrives I suggest you say to yourself that it is all a small price to pay for the restoration of our glorious sovereignty.
Alternatively you could curse the far right politicians who have inflicted this on you and vote out their weird fantasies at the next election. We've heard their politician's promises about all those wonderfully good things Brexit will do for us. Now we see the first signs of the sharp reality in our pocket.