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Local MP welcomes greater competition for rural gas supplies

December 11, 2008 6:21 AM

South Lakes Tim Farron MP has welcomed an order by the Competition Commission to improve competition in the Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) market, which he says is disadvantaging some rural communities.

Residents in more remote rural areas, such as Langdale in Cumbria, are 'off the mains' and have to use LPG from tanks instead if they want a gas supply. LPG supply contracts typically tie customers in for three years. The valves on LPG tanks are also unique to a particular supplier, making it much more time-consuming and costly to switch supplier than for a mains gas customer.

The Competition Commission order should make it easier for customers to switch their supplier, and require greater clarity and consistency when companies quote their prices.

Speaking today, Mr Farron said: "The Competition Commission's order will come as a great relief to many of my constituents who live in the remoter valleys.

"Weak competition in the LPG market has disadvantaged many rural residents who live away from a mains gas supply. LPG suppliers have been taking advantage of people in rural areas for too long.

"I hope that the full effects of the Commission's order will open up competition in the LPG market to both ensure local people can choose freely between suppliers, and bring prices down."