HC Deb 06 December 1978 vol 959 cc666-7W
Mr. Patrick Jenkin

asked the Secretary of State for Energy why the review of the code of practice governing gas and electricity disconnections has been delayed; and when it is to be published.

Dr. John Cunningham:

Adequate time has had to be allowed for full consultations with all the organisations involved, particularly those concerned with the operation of the code. This has taken longer than I would have wished. These consultations are now nearly complete and an announcement will be made very shortly.

Mr. Cartwright

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will give a general direction to all gas and electricity boards to provide statistics on the number of domestic consumers who remain disconnected for long periods as a result of the non-payment of accounts:

(2) what estimate he is able to make of the number of domestic consumers of (a) gas and (b) electricity who remain disconnected for non-payment of accounts for periods of more than one month.

Dr. John Cunningham:

A general direction is not appropriate in these circumstances. Both industries provide information of disconnections either regularly or on request to their consumer councils at national area or regional level. I am asking the chairmen to write to the hon. Member about the detailed information he is seeking. I expect the independent study of the working of the code of practice which I announced on 1st August—[Vol. 955, c. 297-98]—to consider this issue among others.

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