Vulnerable households that rely on liquid petroleum gas for heating and cooking hit with new delivery charge – on top of the soaring price of their fuel
Vulnerable households that rely on liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for heating and cooking are being hit with a new delivery charge – on top of the soaring price of their fuel.
Up to a million households use LPG. They often live in isolated rural locations or in trailer parks where they cannot hook up to the national gas grid. Instead, they typically buy their gas from three national providers – Calor Gas, AvantiGas or Flogas.
Increase: Up to a million households use LPG and they often live in isolated rural locations or in trailer parks where they cannot hook up to the national gas grid
Retired police sergeant Rhona Anderson relies on four 47kg gas bottles at her two-bedroom cottage near Petersfield in rural Hampshire for all her heating and cooking needs. Each bottle holds 92 litres of LPG and costs about £90 to refill.
In the winter she can get through two bottles in a fortnight. The 62- year-old says: ‘I have been a loyal customer of Flogas for three decades – so I was taken aback last month when it suddenly added a £4.99 delivery charge on top of the already rising price for bottled gas when one of its trucks came to exchange two empty canisters. This time last year, I was paying £80 a bottle. The supplier knows full well that it has people like me over a barrel. It is a disgrace.’
Many homes that rely on LPG store it in large tanks in the garden. Suppliers can try to tie in these customers to two-year contracts that cannot be broken without paying a penalty, though gas prices can still go up. It is important to look to switch supplier as soon as a contract ends if costs can be trimmed.
Industry trade body Liquid Gas UK can give details of regional suppliers in addition to the ‘big three’ that might also serve your area. Flogas admitted it introduced the new charge in December but did not comment further.