§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will issue a directive to electricity supply boards to cease all cutting off of domestic electricity supply before 31 March on account of the difficulties of consumers in paying their fuel bills during the present severe weather conditions.
§ Mr. Mellor
The Electricity Council announced on 15 January that area electricity boards in England and Wales would not be cutting off non-payers for at least a further seven days. I welcome the consideration shown by boards in taking this initiative. Disconnections are already subject to the industry's code of practice on payment of bills. They are currently examining this is consultation with the consumer councils and other interested parties, in the light of the recent review of the code by the Policy Studies Institute. I have asked them to report back to me by next month, so that any changes to the code and its application can be in force by March when people receive their main winter fuel bills.