Skip to main content

Fuel Charges

Volume 972: debated on Monday 29 October 1979

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report, from information available to him, the range of prices expressed in pence per therm at which heating oil, gas and coal are available to domestic and industrial users, respectively, in the United Kingdom and each other EEC country, indicating the element in the prices accounted for by taxation.

Information on the range of prices for heating oil, gas and coal is shown in the following table.The figures for heating oil relate to the United Kingdom while those for gas and

Pence per therm and consumption in therms
Heating Oils (1)
Standard Grade Burning Oil
Including (2)Excluding
Hydrocarbon oil dutyHydrocarbon oil duty
Inner (3) zoneGeneral zoneInner zoneGeneral zone
Deliveries of about 1,000 litres
Domestic Consumers35·435·734·835·1
Deliveries of 12,500 litres
Industrial Consumers (4)34·634·134·034·1
Gas Oil
Including (2)Excluding
Hydrocarbon oil dutyHydrocarbon oil duty
Inner zoneGeneral zoneInner zoneGeneral zone
Deliveries of about 1,000 litres
Domestic Consumers34·434·632·632·8
Deliveries of 12,500 litres
Industrial Consumers (4)33·533·731·731·9
Gas (2)Coal(2)
Great Britain
Consumption in Therms per annum
Domestic consumers80(5)25·7–31·7House Coal (7)14·4–22·6
Group 2
Grains 1A19·4–24·0
stove nuts22·3–27·7
Industrial consumers (4)1200(6)25·5–25·7Scotland (8)12·1–14·3
100,00024·0Elsewhere in England11 13
Scheduled prices of oil products, BGC tariffs and information from the NCB.
(1) These are typical prices for the deliveries stated and were applicable as from early July 1979.
(2) There is no value added tax on these fuels.
(3) The "inner zone" includes areas within 40 miles or so of refineries while the "general zone" covers less accessible areas usually from a 100 miles or so of refineries. There is also a " special zone " covering the North West of Scotland and various Scottish islands where prices are somewhat higher than those shown in the table.
(4) Subject to market conditions many medium and large scale consumers can often obtain substantial "discounts" from the scheduled prices. Standard grade burning oil (kerosene) is not extensively used in industry; where appliances permit fuel oils are burnt but these are rarely purchased for domestic consumption. The following table indicates the influence of rebates and similar agreements on prices. Deliveries to large industrial consumers are also influenced by contracts made in earlier periods.

coal are on a Great Britain basis because for these fuels the Northern Ireland figures are not on a comparable basis.

The detailed information for other EEC countries is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Delivered to large industrial consumers

Realised in New and Renewed contracts at a Changed Price

Including Hydrocarbon Oil duty

Excluding Hydrocarbon Oil duty

Including Hydrocarbon Oil duty

Excluding Hydrocarbon Oil duty

Gas oil22·020·224·722·9
Heavy fuel oil14·312·616·014·3
(5) The tariffs are domestic pre-payment and domestic credit for consumptions of 80 and 1200 herms per annum respectively. The tariffs were introduced in June 1979.
(6) Prices for industrial consumers are in accordance with the non-domestic tariff introduced in September 1979. Industrialists consuming more than 100,000 therms per annum normally negotiate a contract in place of the tariffs. During the second quarter of 1979 prices in respect of high industrial consumptions averaged about 12.6 pence a therm but this included business under contracts made in } earlier times. The British Gas Corporation's estimate of the average price for new and renewed contracts (including commercial consumers) during the second quarter of 1979, including firm and interruptible supplies, was 15.8 pence a therm.
(7) This is the range of merchants typical retail prices.
(8) These are the ranges of prices charged at the pit head by the National Coal Board. They do not include transport costs to the purchaser's premises which are the responsibility of the buyer.