HC Deb 29 September 1942 vol 383 cc694-5W
Captain Crowder

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what concessions are to be made to flat-rate users of electricity in view of the demand for economy?

Major Lloyd George

I have given careful consideration to this matter both from the point of view of the consumers and of the supply undertakings. On the one hand economical consumers who are being charged on a flat rate per unit and have cut their consumption down, should not feel that they are paying for something they have not had. On the other hand it is reasonable that supply undertakings should obtain from each consumer some minimum sum towards the expenses incurred by them in having constantly to maintain a service for the benefit of consumers. I have accordingly made an Order to the effect that in future consumers of electricity will not have to pay the existing authorised minimum quarterly charges due to supply undertakings. Instead, the undertakings will be entitled to make a charge of 25s. for a 12 months' period if energy to that value is not consumed in that period. If a consumer ceases to take a supply before the expiration of a full 12-months period, the supply undertaking will be entitled to make a pro rata charge. The new Order will not have effect until after the first meter reading following October 1st, and it will not affect all-in or two-part tariffs or other special tariffs that have been agreed to instead of a flat rate charge. If, however, consumers who are now being charged on a two-part tariff feel that owing to fuel restrictions they would suffer by remaining as they are, they can change over to a flat rate.