Readers respond to the rapidly rising costs of gas and the search for alternative fuels
Perhaps the simplest yet most effective measure that the government could take to minimise the impact of rising wholesale gas prices on the “fuel poor” would be to make illegal the inclusion of standing charges in domestic energy bills (Kwarteng to hold emergency meeting with gas chiefs over price crisis, 19 September).
Standing charges are levied by most energy companies, usually varying between £50 and £100 annually. Supposedly, they reflect the costs of supply overheads, including pipework and cabling, common to all households irrespective of consumption levels. But why separate out these costs? Oil companies have similar distribution overheads to energy companies, yet we don’t pay a standing charge when filling up the car.