Call to pull plug on elec­tric­ity price dis­par­ity

The Oban Times - - News -

A HIGH­LANDS and Is­lands politi­cian has re­peated calls for the Scot­tish and UK gov­ern­ments to in­tro­duce stan­dard pric­ing for elec­tric­ity.

Rhoda Grant, MSP, hit out over the prac­tice of cus­tomers in the north of Scot­land be­ing charged more than the rest of the coun­try for their elec­tric­ity.

The elec­tric­ity sup­pli­ers have ar­gued the dis­par­ity in pric­ing is due to higher dis­tri­bu­tion costs in­volved in sup­ply­ing elec­tric­ity to the High­lands and is­lands, with cus­tomers of Scot­tish and South­ern Elec­tric­ity (SSE) charged two pence more per unit of elec­tric­ity than cus­tomers in other parts of the coun­try.

The Labour list MSP has re­ceived fig­ures from the Scot­tish par­lia­ment’s Fi­nan­cial Scru­tiny unit which show that the north of Scot­land has the high­est lev­els of fuel poverty in the SSE area.

Rhoda Grant said: ‘The lev­els of fuel poverty ex­pe­ri­enced in the High­lands and is­lands are eye-wa­ter­ing, yet nei­ther the SNP gov­ern­ment in Holy­rood nor the Tory gov­ern­ment in Westminster ap­pear to care.

‘The north ex­pe­ri­ences some of the worst win­ter con­di­tions, does not have the gas con­nec­tions that other ar­eas have and is dou­bly pe­nalised by be­ing charged more to get its elec­tric­ity.

‘It is not good enough and Ni­cola Stur­geon and David Cameron need to take stock of this and sort it out.’

The Western Isles are the worst-af­fected area in Scot­land, with 62 per cent fuel poverty lev­els, fol­lowed by the Orkney Is­lands at 58 per cent, High­land at 50 per cent and Ar­gyll and Bute and Shet­land, both with 43 per cent fuel poverty.

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