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Electricity Privatisation

Volume 164: debated on Monday 18 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to announce the new terms and conditions of the obligation to supply subsequent to vesting day under the Electricity Act 1989.

Obligations to supply electricity will rest with those authorised to supply by licence or exemption under sections 5 and 6 of the Electricity Act 1989.

I thank the Minister for that interesting reply, but is it not the case that under the present model of privatisation, which is not the model passed by the House, Britain stands to become the only advanced industrialised country which does not protect the supply of electricity to the consumer? Does this not show utter contempt for British consumers and prove that privatisation is not a means to an end but a discredited end in itself?

The hon. Gentleman has misunderstood the position. The area boards will continue to have an obligation to offer terms for a supply. Every customer will be able to find a supplier, and regulations will continue to prescribe the quality and safety of supplies. Licence conditions on all suppliers will ensure current standards of security.