ISLES MP Alistair Carmichael has welcomed news the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to investigate the domestic fuel market following complaints of huge price rises for heating oil.
Mr Carmichael is urging people in the northern isles who have had difficulties with their energy suppliers to come forward with details of the problems they have experienced.
The MP will be making a submission to the review, which will include an assessment of the market for heating oil and other domestic fuels used by households that are not connected to a mains gas line.
Mr Carmichael wrote to the OFT in December asking them to examine the liquid fuel market in Orkney and Shetland after a sharp increase in the price of heating oil.
One islander who contacted Mr Carmichael in December received a quote for 1,000 litres of oil that was 15 per cent higher than the price offered by the same company on the same day to one of their relatives on the mainland.
“Although some of the recent price hikes can be explained by the international price of oil, it is clear that people in Orkney and Shetland are forced to pay well over the odds for their domestic fuel,” the MP said.
“As someone whose home is off-grid I am all too aware of the strain that increases of this magnitude can put on household finances. I have argued for many years that consumers in the northern isles should be getting a better deal on their fuel and this OFT investigation is long overdue.
“It is vital that heating oil suppliers are subject to the same level of scrutiny as other energy firms. I do not believe that substantial premiums for supplying households in the Isles are justified and will be making a formal submission to this effect during the forthcoming review.
“I would encourage anyone in Orkney or Shetland who has experienced difficulties as a result of the high price of domestic fuel to contact me with details of the problems they have encountered.”
Anyone wishing to contact Mr Carmichael on this issue should email details of the difficulties they have experienced to firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘Off-Grid Fuel’ in the subject line.
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