Sunday 26 May 2024
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Council finds some Nottinghamshire coal yards selling underweight solid fuel bags

Recent checks of bagged solid fuel have revealed that Nottinghamshire residents have been getting less than they paid for. More than 10% of the bags of solid fuel that was checked by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers were found to be underweight, by up to half a kilo each.

During the routine cost of living checks, Trading Standards officers weighed 645 bags totalling around 16 tons, with 11% being found to be significantly underweight due to badly maintained weighing equipment at some of the county’s coal yards.

At one Nottinghamshire coal yard, the equipment was so inaccurate that every single bag that was weighed contained less than the amount stated on the label. This amounted to a consumer loss of nearly £13 per ton. Trading Standards officers removed all substantially underweight bags and they were repacked.

Further investigations revealed that weighing equipment from as far back as 1963 had mechanical parts bent out of shape making accurate weighing impossible. Following the inspections, all faulty equipment has been either repaired or replaced by the yards concerned.

Nottinghamshire Trading Standards is warning coal yards they may face prosecution if any further underweight bags of solid fuel are sold to residents. Businesses are reminded that they are legally required to use weighing equipment that is both accurate and suitably maintained to pack bags to the correct weight displayed on them.

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Under current legislation, manufactured solid fuels must also be certified for use, meaning that they must meet certain emission limits, and can only be sold if they are accompanied by the manufacturer’s name, product certification number and the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo. All the solid fuel that was inspected was also checked to ensure that it met these requirements.

Councillor Scott Carlton, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said:

“With household budgets being stretched, it’s more important than ever to make sure residents are not being over-charged for the things that they buy. That’s why our Trading Standards officers regularly carry out routine inspections of suppliers and retailers across Nottinghamshire to make sure the residents are getting what they pay for and that they products they buy are safe and legal to use.

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“In those cases where we have found businesses are giving customers less than required, I am pleased to say that they have willingly repaired and adjusted their equipment to ensure customers will receive the correct amounts.”

If residents have concerns about the goods or services, they receive from a business, they can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 for advice. If residents are struggling with their energy bills, then further guidance is available at

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