§ 40. Mr. Spriggs
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what were the prices 9W of all fuels, including electricity, in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, and up to the latest convenient date, respectively; about which of the price increases in the latter period he has received representations; and what was the extent of consumer protection given.
ELECTRICITY GAS OIL COAL Average revenue all consumers Average revenue all consumers Schedule price of standard grade burning oil Average proceeds from disposals to all consumers p/Kwh p/therm p/gallon £/ton 1970 … … … … 0.78 8.7* 9.1 5.1 1971 … … … … 0.85 7.8* 10.6 5.8 1972 … … … … 0.89 7.2* 11.1 6.7 1973 … … … … 0.90† 7.1† 12.0 7.2 * Figures are for financial year ended march of the following year. †Provisional.
Most recent price increases:
(B) The latest period for which figures are available in the above form is 1973. How ever since then there have been the following price increases:
Electricity: Fuel cost adjustment clauses were introduced into domestic and other quarterly tariffs, mainly non-industrial, as from 1st May. This is likely to increase consumers' bills from the beginning of August by about 30 per cent. on average.
Gas: Tariff rates increased by about 71/2 per cent. effective from 1st January 1974.
Coal: Industrial and coking coal from the Midland and Yorks coalfields increased by 48 per cent. as from 1st April 1974; that from other coalfields by an average of 28 per cent.
Oil: From 12th February 1974, prices range from 20.9 to 22.9 p/gallon.
(C) I have received some 250 letters, chiefly from MPs and individual members of the public referring to the increases announced in the Budget.
(D) The Government approved the increases in nationalised fuel prices which were announced in the Budget only after the most careful consideration of the right balance between the need to reflect rising energy costs in prices and the impact on house hold budgets.