Millions facing fuel rationing over Christmas as heating oil runs low…(UK)

Saturday, December 18, 2010
By Paul Martin

An estimated two million homes, schools and hospitals face fuel rationing over Christmas after MPs warned that supplies of heating oil would hit “crisis” point during the cold snap.

By Rosa Prince
TelegraphUK
16 Dec 2010

As snow began falling again across the country, the Government confirmed that the situation could become “very serious,” with some households already facing waits of up to four weeks before they can receive supplies.

The Office of Fair Trading announced that it was monitoring allegations of price fixing among suppliers, as the average cost of a litre of oil leapt to more than 70p from just over 40p a month ago.

Around six per cent of households rely on heating oil, many in remote areas away from mains supplies. Six out 10 families in Northern Ireland, 505,000 homes, are dependent on oil deliveries.

There are another 828,000 users in England and 155,000 in Scotland. Figures are unavailable for Wales, but are likely to be significant due to the high levels of households outside of towns and cities.

Across the United Kingdom, a number of public bodies, including rural schools and hospitals, also depend on oil for heat.

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