Besides my great site!! I was on the “Money Saving Expert” website checking out LPG and there is some useful information there (link on my web page address site and at the bottom of this post).
I was inquiring about 3.5ppl cut clauses from contracts and finding more information about the E-petition scheme. Looks like my totals (4 million was including all non mains users….oops!) Below is the reply i received which was very useful:
|My Statement I seem to remember reading somewhere if the the price went above 3/3.5 ppl we could change suppliers.
Can anyone confirm this or was it just with one supplier?
It varies from supplier-to-supplier, and also from contract-to-contract with a given supplier. For example, Calor in recent times have offered contracts with “get out” clauses set at rates of 3ppl every six months, 3.5ppl every six months and even 3.5ppl every three months, so you’ll need to check your contract carefully.
Also, not all suppliers include any such clause at present, Flogas being a notable and probably the most significant example. Previous Flogas contracts have been criticised by the OFT for failing to include such a clause, and this is an area that the OFT are (supposedly) looking to tighten up on. There has been a lot of discussion on these points in this thread over the past year to 18 months, so if you read back a few pages, I’m sure all your questions on this matter will be answered.
|My StatementA slightly different matter, has anyone thought about trying to raise a petition of 100,000 signatures via the e-petition scheme to start a debate about LPG capping or introducing a regulator in the House of Commons?
Considering we have 4 million (mostly disgruntled) users it shouldn’t be too difficult. We could start a simple website where LPG users register.
Nice idea. I am one of the eight who have already signed, so only another 99,992 to go! The problem is finding 100,000 users to sign it. I am going from memory here, but the figure of 4 million is the total number of Off Mains energy users in the UK. The majority of these use heating oil, with a small number using wood stoves or renewables. The number of domestic LPG users in the UK is closer to the 270,000 mark, of whom a signifiant proportion use bottled LPG. I seem to remember that the total number of bulk LPG users was recently quoted as being closer to 150,000, which in the grand scheme of things is a pretty minority voice.
Anyway, no harm to be had in signing – and for those who wish to, the petition can be found here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/14598
As for moving LPG regulation further up the agenda, the recent OFT study into Off Mains Energy Supply did LPG users no favours at all (plenty on that subject posted in this thread too!); And persistent letter writing to MPs, the OFT and the Secretary of State seems to have no more significant affect than banging your head repeatedly against a (very thick) brick wall, partly because LPG users are such a small minority and partly because of political reluctance to do anything that would discourage any movement away from any non-renewable energy source. I really would like to see this moved up the political agenda but I’m really not entirely sure how this can be done.
Make no mistake, there are a few good and honest guys out there, (i.e. some of the smaller independent suppliers), but the domestic LPG supply industry is self-regulated (via UKLPG) and by-and-large appears to me and to many other users to be dangerously out of control. Despite the Competition Commission Order of 2009 competition simply does not work effectively in this market, indeed, some would even argue that the CC Orders have, in hindsight, served to reduce competition and increase prices! (Incidentally, in respect of pricing, I have also heard some pretty convincing arguments that for many lower-consumption bulk users, moving to 47kg cylinder supply could also work out significantly cheaper than continuing with bulk supply in the medium to long term).
I fear that the bottom line is that, like it or not, every LPG user probably has to accept the the LPG market is likely to stay pretty much as it is for the foreseeable future. So we have to take responsibility to educate ourselves, to understand our contracts, to ensure that we don’t get taken for a ride over price increases, to insulate our homes like it’s going out of fashion, and prepare to move to micro generation and/or renewable heat sources as soon as practically and economically viable (i.e. when your LPG boiler reaches the end of its life, of not sooner). And look on the bright side – Calor, Flogas et. al. aren’t going to look quite so smug or smart when nobody is buying their LPG anymore.
………….All good stuff I think you’d agree! – Regards Dickie
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