Calor Gas customers get cold treatment

Ronnie McCord could be waiting weeks for a top up of Calor Gas - until then he has no hot water.

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Short supply of bulk Calor Gas is putting a freeze on supplies for customers, writes Kathie Griffiths.

Problems with oil refineries and a major pipeline bringing the fuel to the mainland has created exceptional circumstances, leaving some off-grid bulk gas customers in rural communities across Argyll without gas or with worrying low levels.

One of those customers is 72-year-old Ronnie McCord from Dalavich. He contacted The Oban Times after giving up trying to call Calor Gas for help.

He said: ‘I’m totally out. I started trying to ring them when I had 13 per cent left – but that was six weeks ago. I’ve got no hot water but I do have a multi-fuel stove to put on at night. It’s like an ice-box upstairs though.

‘I assume I’m not the only one without Calor Gas, but I’m probably one of the luckier ones. Some people might not have any other heating. No one wants to be without heat in the kind of weather we’ve been experiencing lately,’ he said.

Calor Gas would not say exactly how many customers it estimated to be left with hardly any gas or no gas at all.

Mr McCord said: ‘If things were that bad you’d think Calor Gas would have put a word out about the shortage so people could at least get prepared before they were in danger of running out.’

Anyone whose supply is running out is being advised to use it sparingly because it could still be a few weeks before stocks get back to normal levels.

A Calor Gas spokesperson said recent atrocious weather had hampered efforts to bolster supplies in Scotland, although problems have been UK-wide. A national shortage of HGV drivers is also causing difficulties.

The spokesperson added: ‘It is going to take us a few weeks to catch up with the backlog but we are doing our best. Our advice is for any customers with 25 per cent or less left to give us a call. We will get out to them, but we need plenty of notice. The sooner we know, the better. In the meantime, people should use what they have sparingly.

‘Any customers on an automatic top-up with us are being monitored. We will know their situation and will get to them as soon as we can,’ said the spokesman.

For advice, call Calor Gas on 08081 495332.