§ Mr. Spellar
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what restrictions are placed on the levying of standing charges by companies supplying gas to domestic consumers. 
§ Mr. Eggar
In general, it will be for gas suppliers competing in the domestic market to make their own judgments as to standing charges and for customers to take them into account in their choice of supplier. Prospective suppliers operating in the south-west are generally offering standing charges lower than those of British Gas and two are offering a standing charge of zero.
British Gas remains subject to a standing charge cap, equal in real terms to the level at privatisation.