§ Mr. Campbell
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has made a decision about the merging of electricity and gas showrooms.
§ Mr. Benn
Yes. My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection and the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have received advice from the British Gas Corporation, the Electricity Council, the Scottish electricity boards, the National Gas Consumer Council, the electricity consultative councils, and the representatives of the workers in the two industries, who all made a detailed study of the question. They are unanimously against the merging of electricity and gas showrooms. But the consumer representatives have suggested that where one of the industries has to close an uneconomic showroom, the possibility of maintaining some service through the showroom of the other industry should be considered. We accept this advice and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I will commend these conclusions to the chairmen of the gas and electricity industries.
The consumer representatives also suggested that both industries should accept through their showrooms payment of accounts for either industry and I have asked that this possibility should be considered in the review of payment and collection methods for fuel bills.