Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has received clarification from the Government stating that the 500 litre minimum delivery of heating oil is not a legal requirement.
This follows a Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) briefing, stating 500 litres is the legal minimum for delivery by road tanker.
The island MP said he was concerned about the impact the minimum delivery requirement was having on his constituents.
Mr MacNeil said: “I wrote to the UK Government regarding the FPS briefing note which states that 500 litres is the minimum volume of oil ‘that can legally be delivered by road tanker’.
“With the average price of heating oil currently in the region of 71 pence per litre, people are being asked to spend over £300; this is a huge expense especially for pensioners and those on low incomes.
“Among my concerns is that with the minimum delivery policy of 500 litres, pensioners will be put off from buying heating oil and find themselves in a situation where they have to choose between heating or eating.”
“I am very glad to say that Mr David Willetts MP, the UK Minister for Universities and Science, states very clearly in his response to my letter that the FPS briefing note as a general statement is incorrect.”
He continued: “The Minister highlights that there are no specific legal requirements for the minimum delivery of a road tanker to be 500 litres.
“In fact, he points out that the Measuring Instruments (Liquid Fuel delivered from Road Tankers) Regulations 2006 permits the delivery of quantities down to 100 litres.
“This is good news for the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar and especially for pensioners and those on low incomes.”
Mr MacNeil said he has received assurances from the Minister that officials will be in contact with the FPS to inform them of the inaccuracy.
He added: “I will contact FPS and the oil companies delivering to Na h-Eileanan an Iar, in order to ask them to look again at their minimum delivery policy. With the winter approaching, they should be more understanding to the financial pressures on households and particularly our pensioners.”