MP in discussions over heating oil

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Sir Robert Smith MP has met with the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, to highlight the case of those who live in properties not on the gas network and called on constituents to get in touch with their experiences of heating oil suppliers.

Many households in Aberdeenshire faced severe difficulties with supplies last winter and were left stranded without any fuel at all, sometimes for weeks. The high price of heating oil is also of great concern to many households.

Sir Robert said: “I am determined to keep the Government focussed on finding ways to improve the situation and the Secretary of State was keen to look into positive steps that the UK Government could take. There are a number of issues that need addressing.

“After the disruption of last winter, supply is still a major concern. We heard from constituents who had to wait for weeks for supplies of essential heating oil to be delivered.

“There is very real concern about the cost of heating fuel this winter. People want reassurance that the market is getting them the best price. This is particularly so when companies are unable to give a firm quote at the time of ordering. I am very keen to hear of constituents experiences both good and bad when it comes to obtaining fuel.

“The secretary of State agreed to investigate with Ministers the possibility of giving the energy regulator a role in policing this market. He will, also, investigate the early payment of the winter fuel allowance to allow people to stock up earlier in the year when heating fuel may be cheaper.”

Sir Robert is a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee which will be looking at this issue early next year.

Sir Robert went on to say: “I am interested in hearing about the experiences of any constituents who rely on heating oil, whether good or bad.”