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Volume 981: debated on Monday 24 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether, in view of the statement by the chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board that there are further price increases due to take place over a period of years due in part to the public responding to the Government's call for restraints in the use of energy, he will take action to protect the public from continuing price rises due to their implementing the Government's policy of reducing their demands for energy; and whether he will make a statement.

asked As I pointed out in my statement of 16 January the need to move to economic pricing was the main consideration in setting the industry's three-year financial target. Detailed tariff changes are a matter for the industry, but the Government do not accept that these should automatically pass on all cost increases to the consumer.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of United Kingdom electricity production is used for domestic heating; and if he is satisfied that this represents the best use of this form of energy.

It is estimated that 17 per cent. of electricity sales by the United Kingdom public supply industry were for domestic space and water heating in 1978, the latest year for which information is available. It is for individual consumers to decide which forms of energy best meet their needs after taking account of prices, convenience and other factors.