Waveney MP Peter Aldous today criticised huge increases in heating oil supplies in the run up to Christmas.
Over the past month average prices for heating oil have risen by about 40 per cent, despite the price of crude oil only having risen by a quarter of that amount.
In some places suppliers have been charging as much as £2 a litre, while in others the price has stayed at nearer to 50p, leading to suggestions that some companies are using the cold weather and the subsequent increase in demand as an excuse to increase their prices.
Conservatives have lobbied Energy Minister Charles Hendry who has told the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the huge variation in heating oil prices across the country.
Around 1.5m households in Britain rely on heating oil to warm their homes, often in remote areas where mains supplies are limited. Average heating oil bills can vary dramatically depending on the size of the home, its energy efficiency and the size of its heating oil tank.
Mr Aldous said:
“I have been contacted by number of constituents concerned about the rise in oil prices in the middle of a particularly cold winter and at a time when they can ill-afford increased energy bills. Some of the price hikes experienced by them are totally unacceptable and I have written urgently to the Office of Fair Trading and to Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, to seek an explanation for these unreasonable rises. We can all understand that an increase in demand due to the cold snap may put extra pressure on companies to purchase and supply fuel, pushing prices up, but the people who rely on oil to heat their homes and water often have no choice but to use oil and many will have been snowed in during the recent bad weather. The scale of these rises demands an explanation.”
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