31 January 2011

LPG gas prices to come under review

With all the focus on rising gas, electric and petrol prices, it’s easy to forget the 2.5 million homes (around 6% of homes) in the UK that rely on heating oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for their heating.

Now, after high prices for heating oil this winter caused many British families considerable hardship, the Office of Fair Trading is to launch an inquiry into the UK’s domestic market for heating oil and LPG suppliers.

Price hikes were reported from 40p per litre to 70p per litre this winter. This price jump comes despite a rise in the wholesale price of only 10 per cent.

For people not connected to the gas grid, either by choice or because pipelines don’t reach their homes, heating oil and liquefied petroleum gas are essential for their heating, cooking and hot water. Unfortunately, they are dependent on road deliveries, leaving some rural homes waiting for deliveries during the recent bad weather conditions – a time when demand doubled for portable fuel.

The watchdog’s inquiry is likely to take around 12 months – hopefully with results before next year’s potential drop in temperatures.

Here’s an informative article from the Daily Telegraph about the background issues for those living ‘off-grid’: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/8281909/Why-do-some-homes-need-heating-oil.html

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