Is the Minister aware that, for a little more than 10 years, British Gas has operated a domestic meter replacement programme, which has undoubtedly been in the interests of the domestic consumer? Will he assure the House that, as that programme has begun to slip, he will take steps to ensure that the consumer interest is served, and British Gas returns to the programme that it originally promised?
How has regulation of the gas industry compared with the days of public ownership, in terms of the delivery of better service and lower prices? Can anything be learned from our other denationalised industries?
I understand the importance that is attached to energy efficiency. The achievement of carbon savings by that means is one of our Rio commitments. Discussions are in progress with all interested parties.
Is the Minister aware of the widespread disappointment that three of British Gas's five new business headquarters are located in the south-east, and that the furthest north is in Nottingham? Can he think of any reason, for business purposes, why British Gas should not put one of its headquarters in the region from which the gas comes, or where the majority of consumers are? Will he press British Gas—if it does not wish to become South-East Gas—to distribute its new area headquarters in the north, Scotland and Wales, to provide a regional identity that matches some of its loyal customers in those regions?