HC Deb 23 June 1942 vol 380 cc1804-5
33. Mr. Colegate

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that large numbers of electricity consumers pay a flat rate for their electricity regardless of the amount of current consumed; and whether he will secure that in future there shall be a reduction in such rates proportionate to the saving made by the individuals concerned as compared with their normal consumption?

Major Lloyd George

I am not clear whether my hon. Friend has in mind the fixed charge under two-part tariffs or the minimum charge which is sometimes made in connection with flat-rate charges. In the case of two-part tariffs the Joint Committee of Electricity Supply Associations have agreed to recommend to their members that in suitable cases they should permit their domestic consumers, if they desire to do so, to transfer to the flat-rate charges for such period as the necessity for fuel restriction remains. The whole question of fixed and minimum charges is being examined in consultation with the electricity and gas industries from the point of view of economy in fuel.

Mr. Higgs

Is the Minister satisfied that the principle of the more you use the less you pay should be continued in present circumstances for light and electricity?

Major Lloyd George

No, Sir, and that is why the whole thing is being examined at the present time.

Major Lyons

Will the Minister also bear in mind when he gives this matter his personal examination that, for some reason, his predecessor, who was charged with this duty, refused to alter the present practice and said it was perfectly satisfactory?

Major Lloyd George

That is one of the first things I examined when I went into the Department.