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Electricity And Gas (Costs)

Volume 887: debated on Thursday 6 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report details showing the average cost of electricity and gas, respectively,

the attention of his Department in 1974; how this compares with the previous five years; how many cases were prosecuted; and with what results.

I am informed by the Chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that 34 complaints against firms situated in the metropolitan borough of Stockport were received during 1974. These listed 68 individual items of complaint of which 46 were found to be justified. One of the firms complained about was successfully prosecuted on two counts and fines totalling £500 were imposed. Comparative figures for 1971–73 are tabled below. Figures prior to 1971 are not each of the regions of the United Kingdom.

I regret that information about current regional differences in the costs of electricity and gas is not available. The latest available data for the average revenue per kWh of electricity sold to consumers is contained in the Annual Reports and Statements of Accounts for 1973–74 of the Electricity Council, the South of Scotland Electricity Board and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board. The regional figures for that period ranged between 0·832 and 0·986p per kWh. However, average sales revenue is an imperfect guide to the costs to industrial consumers and regional differences will reflect the social and industrial characteristics of the region and the pattern of the load on the generating system. An area where the load arises primarily from domestic demand will show different average results from one in which there is, for example, a lot of three shift industrial working.The same considerations apply in the case of gas, and the average revenue from sales figures are contained in the latest Annual Report and Accounts of the British Gas Corporation.An indication of the regional spread of prices may be obtained from Table 85 in the latest Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics which shows typical retail prices of domestic fuels in certain large towns across the country. The figures relate to the years 1971–73, those for 1974 are not yet available.