Rural areas vulnerable to fuel price spikes

Rural areas are at risk of fuel price spikes, the Countryside Alliance has warned. The campaign group’s claim comes in response to the Office of Fair Trading’s latest study out […]

By Vicky Ellis

Rural areas are at risk of fuel price spikes, the Countryside Alliance has warned. The campaign group’s claim comes in response to the Office of Fair Trading’s latest study out today, which found that competition in the off-grid market gave customers a good choice. This was despite the OFT’s reservations about how some heating oil and off-grid fuel suppliers treated their customers.

Sarah Lee, Head of Policy for the Countryside Alliance, said: “People living in rural areas are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to energy suppliers because the off-grid market is largely unregulated. This makes those with homes in the countryside particularly vulnerable to market volatility during severe weather and oil price spikes.

“While the Countryside Alliance agree with the OFT that rural consumers benefit from good competition when it comes to their energy supply, we are also concerned by the treatment that consumers are receiving from some heating oil and other off-grid fuel suppliers, and we welcome the OFT’s call for further examination of these practices.”

Around four million households rely on off-grid energy such as heating oil, liquid petroleum gas and renewable energy sources like solar panels.

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