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Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many households there are where (a) gas, (b) electricity and (c) water utilities are disconnected. [98971]

I have been asked to reply.Information on the number of households disconnected at any one time is not available. During 2002, 22,335 gas and 3,334 electricity customers were disconnected for debt or theft.My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has responsibility for the water industry. I understand that under the Water Industry Act 1999, water companies do not have the power to disconnect various categories of premises, including private dwellings.