“Dear Aunty, is it true that fracking for shale gas will help to keep energy costs affordable?”

Can’t argue with her, but she’s no maiden aunt

Aunty Frackers blog

Yes, of course it is dears, although listening to opponents of shale gas extraction you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Before I explain why, I think it’s important to distinguish between ‘cheap’ energy and affordable energy.

Cheap energy is wasteful energy. When it’s too cheap, we consume more of it than we should. Instead, we need affordable energy – most people just want to know that they can power their homes without having to choose between heating and eating in the winter, and where we use just what we need.

Shale gas is unlikely to make energy much cheaper but, for the reasons I’ve just given sweeties, we don’t really want it to either. What it can do is help to constrain rises in costs so that energy remains affordable.

Here are three ways it can do that.

Transmission and supply costs

According to Ofgem, the costs of supplying…

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