Energy / MPs urge UK Government to introduce heating oil price cap

ORKNEY and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael has urged the new business secretary to introduce a price cap on heating oil to protect ‘off-grid’ homes from rising prices this winter.

Carmichael has joined forces with fellow Liberal Democrat MPs in rural constituencies to call for a cap of between 70p and 80p per litre after prices reached 95p in October.

In a letter to Grant Shapps the MPs warned that thousands of people across the UK could face fuel poverty this winter due to the increased price of oil and other forms of energy.

While the government has confirmed a price “cap” for average UK households for electricity or gas through to April 2023, it has offered support of £100 to people who use heating oil.

This will be delivered via a credit on electricity bills, but it is unclear when it will be paid.

An estimated 7,500 homes across Orkney and Shetland rely on heating oil, but they have repeatedly been “neglected” by the Conservatives, Carmichael claimed.


He said households using heating oil are facing an average increase in bills of £1,200 per year.

The MP said: “Orkney and Shetland are bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis but have repeatedly been neglected by the Conservative government.

“I receive regular correspondence from constituents who are worried about heating their homes. They feel insulted to have been offered a mere £100 when their bills are increasingly significantly more than that.

“My party offers a clear solution: extend the price cap to heating oil. This could be paid for by a windfall tax on the huge profits of oil and gas giants that are cashing in on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

The UK Government said the £100 payment should “ensure that a typical customer using heating oil does not face a higher rate of growth in their heating costs since last winter” compared to those supported by the energy price guarantee.

However, people with heating oil in areas like Shetland will be likely to use more than other areas of the UK – therefore paying more – due to the climate.

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