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Davey not planning on winning any friends at Energy UK

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey is not exactly extending the hand of friendship with his comments. Photo: PA Wire

Ed Davey might end up being a rather unwelcome guest tomorrow.

He's appearing at the energy industry conference, Energy UK - as a declaration of interest I am chairing one of the panels there which, after last week when Sam Laidlaw boss of Centrica said he'd surrender his bonus this year, may well be interesting.

But just in case things weren't tense enough between the government and the indsutry, Davey is expected to accuse them of using customers like 'cash cows', and in remarks that are likely to rile them still further, say this is their 'Fred the Shred' moment.

Set aside for a second the notion that Fred Goodwin led what was our biggest bank into near oblivion taking forty billion of taxpayers cash with it to bail it out and ponder how this will be received by an industry currently involved in sensitive negotiations with the government.

Polling tells politicians that bashing energy companies may be as popular as bashing bankers was a couple of years ago.

But don't forget that whether we like it or not, and many may hate it, unless the government suddenly decides to build lots of power stations itself (hardly likely) we need these companies to build and invest.

Sources in the industry have told me the current politicking by the coalition and Labour is already making it harder to get deals done.

Davey's remarks could make it even worse.

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