Energy disconnection rates 'appalling'

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Figures outlining the rate of disconnections in the UK last year have been described by an MP as "appalling and alarming".

The Scottish National Party's Westminster energy spokesperson Mike Weir made the comment about Ofgem's recent study, which revealed that the number of customers disconnected in 2007 rose to over 3,000 compared to the previous year.

According to the minister, the research warned "of an escalating crisis" due to the increasing cost of gas and electricity.

He said: "These figures don't tell the full extent of the crisis, given they precede the massive hike in energy prices earlier this year and the looming increase this autumn.

"The fear must be that this situation is already much worse and Ofgem and UK government need to bring forward these figures much more quickly, so that action can be targeted."

At the start of this month, Mr Weir described British Gas's decision to increase its energy prices as "audacious".

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said that the rises had created "justifiable anger" after the company's owner Centrica also announced major pre-tax profits.

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