In behavioural economics, framing means the way a choice or outcome is presented.  In criminology, framing is setting people up without evidence.  See the connection?

Ofgem is a past master at framing in that they pluck a number out of the thin air contained in a hat and present it as a saving to the consumers of Britain.  And, we must admit, the savings often exist. 

The problem arises in that any number bandied about in energy is going to be so big that it sounds good.

This week, Ofgem was crowing to the press about how they had put the "regulatory hobnails" (note the use of such hip, trendy language. From the 1820's) on, and were able to claim to the Times that they had saved UK consumers "about" £500 million. Or was it £300 million  as the FT said.

The number is meaningless when considered to two other numbers:  48 million electric and gas meters and an average domestic spend of £1100. So even the larger number means "savings" of about £20 per year.  Is that really the kind of savings that means anything?  Of course not, but it gives Ofgem a bit of breathing space. Although not from us.

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