Why can’t AvantiGas deliver? We’re about to run out of fuel

I was told by our Liquid Petroleum Gas supplier, AvantiGas, to place an advance order on 3 November, with a delivery window of 7-10 days expected. Two months on, we are still waiting. Our tank is now down to 3% capacity and will run out in the next couple of days. We’ve turned off the heating to conserve supplies for cooking.

It told me I would get a delivery “before Christmas”, then “as soon as possible”, then, when our tank was at 20%, then 10% and now 5% capacity. It warned me several times that if it expedited a delivery, and the gauge was above 10% when it arrived, it would charge £210 +VAT extra. Now it mentions “unplanned operational difficulties” and says it is prioritising people with medical needs. Is the company about to go out of business? Have they run out of gas? What is happening?
DB, Hereford

Online reviews tell a similar story, with some customers reporting they faced Christmas without fuel. Earlier last year, shortages of supplies, and of HGV drivers, caused extensive delays to deliveries across the sector, and left some of the UK’s 200,000 off-grid customers without heating during the last weeks of winter.

Other major providers, Calor and FloGas, tell me that delivery timescales are now 10-15 days after a challenging year, but AvantiGas appears to have been informing households that it won’t even accept an order until their capacity is below 5%.

Your order was delivered shortly before I contacted AvantiGas, but other customers are still anxiously waiting while their supply dwindles. The company blames supply shortages and unplanned maintenance work at a key gas terminal.

It would have been helpful if it had forewarned customers of these problems and kept them updated. Vice-president Brad Steadman tells me: “AvantiGas takes this matter seriously and is putting in place new measures so that we improve communication and transparency around deliveries.

“In these challenging times for the industry, we must review the gauge readings of our customers and prioritise those who will run out first, meaning, on rare occasions, customers will receive a delivery at a lower gauge reading than they are normally used to.”

LPG customers can refer complaints to the Liquid Gas UK Ombudsman Scheme provided their supplier is a member.

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