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Differential Tariff

Volume 466: debated on Monday 27 June 1949

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what representations he has made to the British Electricity Authority, asking them to look into the possibility of increasing the summer rebate under the differential tariff for electricity charges, when the financial results of the winter surcharge have been ascertained.

None, Sir. The British Electricity Authority have already publicly announced their intention of considering the matter when the necessary financial results are available. In any case the actual amount of any further rebate would be a matter within the discretion of the electricity boards.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary bear in mind that there is widespread dissatisfaction at the very high winter charges now that the consumers have received their accounts? Will he ask the British Electricity Authority to look into this again and give a higher rebate for summer consumption as soon as possible?

The British Electricity Authority have already made an announcement about that. As soon as they have the necessary information they will make a public statement.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the public were under the impression that the summer charges would on balance offset the winter charges, or, in other words, that the charges would be so much less during the summer? Is he aware that the public feel that as so much less electricity is used during the summer, they will be the losers in the matter? Will he see that the charges are substantially reduced?

It was clearly understood, in putting the Clow Committee's Report into operation, that it was not intended that the British Electricity Authority should make a profit. When the financial results are known they will give consideration to an extra rebate, if that is necessary.

Will my hon. Friend note that there is widespread dissatisfaction at this differential method of charging, and will he try to avoid the necessity of these rebates in the future, as it is a great hardship to the working classes?

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say what the charges will be for the June quarter, because the meters are now being read?