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Energy: Prices

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 57434, tabled on 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of taking measures to control energy costs for people living in rural areas who rely on (a) oil, (b) LPG and (c) solid fuel.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

22 October 2021

If residents are off the gas grid, but on a default tariff for their electricity only supply they will still be protected by the Energy Price Cap. Providing they are eligible, they will be able to access Warm Home Discount.

The Government believes it is essential that consumers get a fair deal.  There are open markets for the supply of heating oil and LPG in the UK as we believe this provides the best long-term guarantee of competitive prices. These markets are subject to UK competition law to ensure they operate efficiently for the consumer.

Changes in the price of crude oil are the main drivers for the price of heating oil although other factors including more local supply and demand for the refined products can have an impact on prices. LPG used in the UK is produced primarily as a by-product from the refining of crude oil. The LPG price is therefore also influenced by the price of crude oil.

We consider energy efficiency upgrades to be the best way to tackle fuel poverty in the long term. Energy efficiency upgrades will contribute to reduced energy bills and a warmer, safer living environment.

We are supporting low income and vulnerable households in rural areas through the Home Upgrade Grant, which will support low-income households by upgrading the most energy inefficient off gas grid homes in England. On 19 October we announced additional funding of £950m for the Home Upgrade Grant.

Further, through the Energy Company Obligation, an obligation placed on larger energy suppliers, which requires them to reduce home heating costs by installing energy efficiency and heating measures to people’s homes in England, Scotland and Wales. We recently consulted on the successor scheme from 2022 and proposed incentives for delivery in rural areas where additional grant funding is not available.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.