HC Deb 28 May 1968 vol 765 cc1510-1
11. Mr. Silvester

asked the Minister of Power whether agreement has now been reached between the electricity industry and the Gas Council about electricity connection charges in new housing developments.

Mr. Freeson

No. My right hon. Friend has not yet completed his review of this question which he is conducting with the Gas and Electricity Councils.

Mr. Silvester

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this matter was raised originally in the 1965 fuel White Paper, and will he agree that it is undesirable for connection charges to be used as a weapon in the competition for securing central heating contracts on new housing estates?

Mr. Freeson

If the hon. Gentleman has a special point in mind about the latter part of his supplementary question, no doubt he will get in touch with my Department. This is a difficult subject to study within the industries. There are problems of relating charges to the actual capital expenditure involved in establishing services on new housing estates and the like. There is also the question of trying to maintain freedom of choice to individual consumers buying houses.