HC Deb 26 July 1979 vol 971 cc354-5W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the present differential between the following fuels: oil, coal and gas; and what price for domestic gas per therm would be required to match prices.

Mr. Norman Lamont

It is not possible to provide a meaningful summary for the country as a whole of differences in the

Pence per therm including hydrocarbon oil duty Consumption per annum in therms
80 400 800 1,200
Premium Paraffin (1) 41–44.5 41–44.5 (2) (2)
Standard Grade Burning Oil (3) (4) 35.4 35.1 35.1
Housecoal Group 2 (5) 19.9 19.6 19.6 19.6
Anthracite Grains (5) 22.3 22.1 22.1 22.1
Anthracite Stove Nuts (5) 25.5 25.3 25.3 25.3
Gas (6) 31.7 22.9 19.7 18.6


(1) The price, shown incorporate an estimate of the expected impact of the recent wholesale price increases when these are fully passed through to consumers.

(2) Premium paraffin is not usually purchased for consumptions up to these levels.

(3) Prices are those typical from about the second week in July 1979 for deliveries of 900 litres and more by road tanker in the "outer zone".

(4) Standard grade burning oil is not normally used to meet this level of consumption.

(5) Present typical prices based upon deliveries of 50 kilogramme amounts for an annual consumption level of 80 therms and on deliveries of one tonne amounts for annual consumption levels of 400 therms or more. Prices for deliveries of the 50 kilogramme amounts are estimated from those related to one tonne deliveries.

(6) Based on tariffs introduced from 1 June 1979. Domestic pre-payment tariff applies for 80 therms annual consumption otherwise the domestic credit tariff applies.

Prices shown above do not make any allowances for costs of installation and maintenance nor for varying efficiencies of appliances. For these reasons and as fuels are used for varying purposes data on costs of useful heat consumed (overall heating costs) could show changes to the relative orders of costs depicted above.

Gas, as shown in the table above, is cheaper by about 1 p a therm than the next cheapest fuel thousecoal group 2) for an annual consumption of 1.200 therms but dearer than most fuels for an annual consumption of 80 therms.

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