HC Deb 09 February 1994 vol 237 c306W
21. Sir Fergus Montgomery

To ask the President of the Board of Trade by how much the price of gas to the domestic consumer has fallen since privatisation; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar

Domestic gas prices for all consumers have fallen by 22 per cent. in real terms since privatisation.

Mr. Byers

To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many domestic gas consumers use (i) 100 therms, (ii) 200 therms, (iii) 300 therms, (iv) 500 therms, (v) 1,000 therms and (vi) 2,000 therms a year; and what is the forecast percentage change in cost of those levels of consumption as a result of the abolition of the monopoly control over the domestic gas tariff.

Mr. Eggar

British Gas estimates of the number of domestic gas consumers in different ranges of consumption are as follows:

Analysis of British Gas domestic tariff sales (September 1992 estimate)
Range therms per year Number of customers
0–100 1,325,311
101–200 964,173
201–300 1,392,542
301–500 3,871,768
501–1,000 8,121,502
1,001–2,000 1,965,922
over 2,000 152,482

Source: Monopolies and Mergers Commission, Gas and British Gas plc, Volume 2, Appendix 4.1, Table 2.

Abolition of the monopoly will expose British Gas to competition which should lead to reduced prices to domestic consumers. A joint DTI/OFGAS public consultation document, to be published soon, will discuss the operation of the competitive market and the arrangements for regulating the transition to full competition.

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