Gas and Electricity Markets Authority

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 14th September 2009.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the merits of extending the remit of Ofgem to include responsibility for regulation of the bottled gas market.

Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change)

holding answer 9 September 2009

The Gas Act 1986 (as amended), which among other things set up the gas regulatory bodies, exempted liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from its provisions. The Gas Act principally addressed the issues of setting up a regulatory regime to ensure that the national transmission system for gas users was not exploited. In contrast, there is no natural monopoly in the transport of LPG by road. The LPG market operates with a number of distributors competing for supply using alternative supply sources. In that sense, it is broadly similar to other products such as diesel and petrol.

The Department has not therefore made an assessment of the merits of extending the remit of Ofgem to include responsibility for regulation of the market for LPG. My officials however have had meetings with Consumer Focus to contribute to its assessment of the market in Great Britain for the supply of LPG and heating oil for domestic use.

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