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 Should Apple buy Greece?
- 2 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 3 Drummer Lee Rigby's family reject 'extremist' groups using Woolwich murder for political gain
- 4 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 5 Fox News anchor asks 'what's to prevent' three people from marrying after same-sex marriage legalised
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Drummer Lee Rigby's family reject 'extremist' groups using Woolwich murder for political gain
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional 'basic income'
Tunisia hotel shooting video: Dramatic footage appears to show gunman Seifeddine Rezgui running on Sousse beach
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Austerity is essential if Britain wants to reduce inequality – why can't the left-wingers who march against it realise this?
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
iJobs Money & Business
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...
Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...
Competitive (Freelance) : Guru Careers: An Investment Writer / Stock Picker is...