The Office of Fair Trading is currently considering the comments received on the consultative document which it issued earlier this year and expects to report its findings to Ministers in the new year.
Does my hon. Friend agree with me, without prejudging what the report says, that it is wrong for some landlords to charge their tenants double, or even more, for the price of energy than they themselves have to pay? When he sees the report, will he introduce legislation to make that impossible?
I am aware of the close interest that my hon. Friend has taken in this matter. Existing legislation provides that area boards shall set maximum permitted prices for the resale of electricity. Landlords may resell at that higher price to recoup their additional costs. The Office of Fair Trading reviewed the problems associated with the resale of electricity between 1974 and 1977. It was concluded that there was insufficient evidence to justify recommending changes in legislation. I should not wish to anticipate the findings of the present review or the Government's response to it.