§ 17. Mr. Raphael Tuck
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give a general direction to the British Gas Corporation to send quarterly bills to all consumers without prepayment meters.
§ Mr. Tuck
Is my hon. Friend aware that in certain cases the Gas Corporation waits 11 months before sending out accounts? Recently, after 11 months, I received an account for £112. I shall find it very difficult to pay this. [Interruption.] Yes, I shall. This applies to many people who are in a less fortunate position than myself. Can my hon. Friend ensure that in future accounts are sent quarterly or monthly?
§ Mr. Oakes
I shall try to ensure that my hon. Friend is not disconnected. It is normal practice to render a bill quarterly, but in every organisation there will be occasions when something goes wrong with the administrative arrangements. If my hon. Friend wishes, I shall raise his case with the British Gas Corporation.
§ Mr. Mike Thomas
On the general question of prepayment meters, can my hon. Friend confirm that the Electricity Council will take two years and spend a mere £15,000 on the study of token meters? If that is the case, will it meet the criteria that my hon. Friend is hoping to get?