HC Deb 17 February 1949 vol 461 cc181-2W
11. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that the surcharge, the object of which was to restrict the domestic consumption of electricity, is no longer necessary; and whether he will now abolish it.

Mr. Gaitskell

No. I believe that the introduction of a differential tariff has helped to reduce demand for electricity this winter and so to diminish the risk of load shedding. My hon. Friend will appreciate that owing to the practice of continuous meter reading, it was not possible to bring all consumers on to the higher winter rate at the same time. There is bound therefore to be a period during which some consumers will be charged for electricity at the higher winter rate while others are paying the reduced rate. Those who have paid the surcharge for the winter quarter will, of course, get the benefit of the rebate for the next nine months. For example, if the rate for the winter quarter was 1.1d. per unit, it will only be 0.65d. per unit for the rest of the year.