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September 27, 2011 10:01 AM

TF KendalSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today called on the government to step in and help curb the massive increase in prices of heating oil in rural areas like ours. Tim has been contacted by local residents who are having to pay up to £1,300 to fill their tank of heating oil.

Many properties in rural areas like theSouth Lakes do not have access to mains gas, and are therefore almost forced to use heating oil to heat their homes. Heating oil prices are much more volatile that gas prices, and the market is less regulated.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has recently taken action to prevent consumers being misled when searching online for heating oil supplies. The OFT found that some websites offering to find consumers the best price for heating oil were not clear about whether they were price comparison sites or sites for ordering heating oil directly from a single supplier. Tim wants the OFT, Ofgem and the government to go ever further and make sure that real competition is allowed in the market place and that exorbitant price rises are curbed.

Tim said: "Fuel poverty isn't just something people should talk about - it is something we should end. Many people in rural areas have to pay exorbitant prices to heat their homes and this is just wrong. I want to government to step in and make sure people pay a fair price. Some energy companies last year saw their profits jump 98% and while at the same time local residents are having to scrimp to pay their heating bills - this must end and end soon."