Gas suppliers split on date for Scotland
Saturday 08 March 1997
The Gas Forum, which represents most independent suppliers in the residential and commercial markets, has written to Lord Fraser, Energy Minister, urging the Government to offer competition to a further 2.5 million homes later this year.
Roger Turner, managing director of United Gas and a chairman of the Forum, said the plan was to introduce competition to the whole of Scotland in October.
The move would need an amendment to 1995 legislation which says nationwide competition cannot take place earlier than 1998. The target preferred by TransCo, the pipeline business of British Gas, is for no further trials before next April.
The letter explains: "Technically adding another region during 1997 would require an order to be laid before Parliament and we believe that the government should take this necessary action in the very near future."
Mr Turner said: "It makes so much logistical sense to keep up the momentum. The idea is that we would kick off with another phase comprising Scotland and some of Northern England, though the centre of gravity of the process would still be April 1998."
However, a postscript to the letter said it did not represent the views of three large suppliers: Quadrant, run by Esso and Shell, Mobil and Calortex, a joint venture between Calor and Texaco. Calortex, which claims to have grabbed the most customers in trials so far, described the letter as "irresponsible."
Neil Lambert, Calortex's joint general manager, said he was "frankly very annoyed" by the letter. "We think the next trial should take place as early as possible once the systems run by TransCo are able to handle it. This letter is saying we should go whether the systems are in place or not."
Mr Lambert said he saw no reason to disbelieve claims by TransCo that it needed a crucial few months breathing space to complete new computer systems which would support customer databases to track households as they switched supplier.
Yesterday competition was extended to a further 900,000 homes in Kent and Sussex, on top of the 1.1 million in trials in the South-west of England.
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Saudi Arabia's King Salman sacks senior aide for 'slapping' a journalist behind him live on TV
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...
£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...