Calor gas supply crisis raises fears of cold Christmas for some in South Yorkshire

People are at risk of going cold and hungry over Christmas due to a Calor gas supply crisis, a supplier has warned.

By David Walsh
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 12:49 pm

Louise Masters said she had just five per cent of normal stock and deliveries were down from three a week to one, which was often late, about a fifth of normal size - and sold out the same day.

It meant some who relied on it for cooking or heating could struggle and firms like hers could go bust.

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Louise Masters said she had just five per cent of normal stock and deliveries were down from three a week to one, which was often late, about a fifth of normal size and sold out the same day.

Calor has long-running supply issues, the shortage was first reported by The Star in May.

WHY IS THE SITUATION WORSE NOW?

But Louise, of Fuel Masters in Barugh Green, Barnsley, said due to the winter cold the situation was now ‘considerably worse and more serious’.

She added: “I have spoken with other Calor gas retailers in Barnsley and Sheffield as we are still experiencing massive problems with the supply chain.

“The situation has got considerably worse and more serious as it is the winter a lot of customers rely on Calor gas for heating and cooking.

“In Barnsley there is myself and one other, Calor Barnsley, and we are having to turn customers away. Hopefully they have family and friends who can help them.

“Both of our businesses are family-run and as you can imagine we are both suffering great financial loss.

“We are also now struggling to get stock of all gas including for our commercial customers who use it for forklifts. Which in turn can have a big impact on other services and industries.”

WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS FACING THE FIRM?

Calor’s problems include losing drivers to better paid jobs, Louise added.

The firm acknowledged it had ‘supply chain challenges caused by the pandemic’, labour shortages and ‘resource challenges’. It has also permanently closed Calor Centres to the public.

Shortages first came to light in May due to soaring demand from pubs and bars running patio heaters. At the time they were only allowed to open outside.

WHAT IS CALOR DOING ABOUT IT?

A Calor spokesman said they were prioritising key winter cylinder sizes to retailers but were unable to fulfil every order.

New cylinders were starting to arrive and they were recruiting, he added.

And he urged customers to return cylinders, adding: “It is important that customers return empty cylinders to the retail network so they can put them back into circulation swiftly.”

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