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Views sought from members of the public regarding Energy Prices 15 December 2005

    As part of the investigation launched by the Office of Fair Trading into the price of energy in the Isle of Man, the Office is looking to hear the views of the public. The investigation will determine whether the prices being charged for petrol and diesel, electricity, gas, central heating oils and solid fuels are excessive and whether recent price movements are due to increases in wholesale prices.

    A notice has been placed in local newspapers inviting public comment as the Office has received a number of complaints from consumers over the recent increases in the price of these products and is therefore aware of the considerable public concern being expressed. As well as views from the public regarding the price they pay for energy, the Office also wishes to receive views on the purchase, distribution and charging mechanism for the products.

    Members of the public or organisations submitting comments should identify any information which they would wish to remain confidential as relevant information received will be appended to the final report.

    The Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, Quintin Gill MHK, said, "I am pleased that members of the public, organisations and commercial interests have this valuable chance to make known their views regarding the price and working of the energy markets on the Island. I would urge anybody with constructive views on this topic to get in touch with the Office of Fair Trading. The views expressed will be included in the final report on the investigation when it is produced for the Council of Ministers to consider."

    NOTES

    The investigation is being carried out under Section 19 of the Fair Trading Act 1996 which enables the Office of Fair Trading to conduct an investigation into any price which is of major public concern with a view to providing the Council of Ministers with information. The last investigation into gas prices was carried out in 2000 and therefore preceded the introduction of natural gas.

    In 2001 the Fair Trading Act was amended to provide an additional stage of the investigation and where the subsequent report finds that particular prices are excessive and against the public interest the Council of Ministers now have powers to make a Tynwald Order that can either fix prices or require them to be determined in a particular way.

    15th December 2005

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