§ 9. Mr. Gerald Nabarro
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the policy of the Government regarding factory installation of generating equipment for use independent of electricity mains consumption, and particularly including auto-diesel sets, back-pressure turbines and reciprocating engines; and whether he is now satisfied that all contractual restrictions and financial inhibitions have now been removed by the British Electricity Authority in respect of independent electricity generation.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd
These independent generators undoubtedly help to relieve the demand on the electricity supply system, particularly during the peak hours and I am anxious that firms should not be prevented from installing them otherwise than by the inevitable limitations of supply. Where oil is to be used, they should first confirm that their requirements can be met by an oil supplier. The electricity boards, after discussion with the Federation of British Industries, have waived the contractual restrictions on the use of these plants until 1959.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Does my right hon. Friend realise that the area electricity boards continue financially to inhibit the use of private generators by every possible means, and that their financial policy, even since the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mr. Noel-Baker), made his last statement on 30th April, 1951, has been one throughout of, "Heads I win, tails you lose"? Is not it the area boards that the Minister should get at?
§ Mr. P. Roberts
While thanking my right hon. Friend for what he has said, may I ask if he will see that it gets wide publicity, because there are firms who 617 need this extra support from the Minister in making their applications to the Board?
§ Mr. Nabarro
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that this is not only a question of the peak hour consumption of electricity, but also a question of the higher efficiency in the use of coal, by using independent generators deriving their power from waste steam?
§ Mr. A. C. Manuel
Can the Minister say what protection there is regarding the prices charged for independently generated electricity as compared with the electricity sold by the area boards?