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Natural Gas: Rural Areas

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of barriers to gas provision in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. (242072)

The cost to the customer is clearly the principal barrier to providing new connections to communities and households beyond the mains gas network, including rural areas. Because of the benefits that access to gas offers deprived and other households, the Government developed a model to provide connections to deprived communities by packaging a range of existing funding sources and using independent gas transporters. The successful application of that model was instrumental in persuading the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) to incentivise the large gas networks, such as Wales and the West, to connect deprived communities under the 2008-13 Gas Distribution Price Control.