Cost of heating must drop for rural off-grid customers

Dan is urging heating oil companies to reflect the fall in the price of crude oil by cutting their prices for off-grid customers.

Mr Rogerson also said he wants to see more properties in the area connected to the mains gas network, to help cut energy bills for rural communities.

Statistics released recently by the Department for Energy and Climate Change indicate that 44% of properties across Cornwall aren’t connected to the mains gas network, one of the highest rates in the country.

Analysis by the independent House of Commons Library shows that the average cost of heating a typical three bedroom house is around 50% higher with heating oil and 100% higher with LPG than with mains gas.

A £25m fund to support the installation of first time heating systems in households who are not connected to the gas grid and who do not currently have a central heating system was announced by Lib Dem Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, last month.

Dan Rogerson said that in addition to government schemes, gas and heating oil companies should make sure that any further cuts in the price of oil are reflected in the price of fuel to customers.

Dan said, "Off grid customers are paying significantly more than everyone else. As the price of oil has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, the cost of filling heating oil tanks in back gardens must fall too. It is only right that heating oil companies pass on any savings from further cuts in the price of oil to people who live off the gas grid and rely on heating oil to keep their homes warm.

“In December the Government announced a £25 million scheme to help people install a central heating system instead of relying on electric heaters or solid fuel. I will also be looking at what more the Government can do to help people in rural areas with their energy bills, particularly vulnerable people.

“Many local people without access to mains gas often have to rely on more expensive or less reliable methods of keeping warm, so in addition I would like to see a drive to connect many more properties in North Cornwall to the mains gas supply.

“In the meantime if you aren’t connected to mains gas and haven’t already joined an oil or gas buying cooperative I’d recommend you look into one – clubbing together with neighbours to buy in bulk could help lower the cost significantly."