21st August 2001

Council Criticises 3rd Coal Price Rise in 13 Months

<p>Coal users are being burnt by a third price hike in 13 months, according to the General Consumer Council.</p>

With an average price rise of 15% from June last year, this is around 10 times the current rate of inflation.

Maeve Bell, Director of the Consumer Council, said;
“This further rise in coal prices is unacceptable. The average householder burning 2 bags of coal a week will have to pay between £100 and £150 extra a year to heat their home. This will hit pensioners and less well off consumers particularly hard.”

Maeve Bell also commented on the industry’s reasons for the rise. “The last 3 price increases have been blamed on the strength of the dollar and the increasing cost of sea freight. We feel the same excuse time after time is wearing a bit thin.”

“In the face of higher fuel bills, being energy efficient has never been more important. We would therefore advise consumers to contact their local Energy Efficiency Advise Centre for information on how to make savings (telephone 0800 512012)”