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Energy Prices

Volume 987: debated on Thursday 3 July 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the current price per therm of energy supplied in the United Kingdom in the form of crude oil, coal, natural gas and electricity; how this compares with the price in 1972; and what is his estimate of the rise in the price of coal, natural gas and electricity required to balance demand and supply for each form of energy in equilibrium conditions.

It is not appropriate to put a value to crude oils in terms of pence per therm. However, for the purposes of the question a factor, based on the calorific value of petroleum products and their consumption patterns, has been used. On this basis the average price in 1972 could be said to be 2·05p per therm and during the first quarter of 1980 the average price would be 22·64p per therm.Table 1 below shows the average price paid by large industrial consumers during 1972 and January to March 1980. The data for 1972 is based on information gleaned from a variety of sources. The prices for gas and electricity are based on revenues received by the fuel industries and in the case of gas the data relates to the fiscal year 1972–73. The coal price for 1972 is based on the average pithead price to which has been added an estimated transport charge. Prices for the first quarter of

TABLE 1
AVERAGE PRICE OF FUELS TO LARGE INDUSTRIAL CONSUMERS
(p/therm)
CoalGasElectricity
19723·252·9621·59
1980 (First quarter)12·6115·9667·54
TABLE 2
DOMESTIC FUEL PRICES IN GRIMSBY AREA
(p/therm)
CoalGas (400 Therms/An)Electricity (5,000 Kwh/An)
December 19726·2210·2228·60
June 198019·6523·68121·43