Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Western Isles Poverty Action Group met today (Monday) with representatives of the energy company SSE to discuss the 2p per unit surcharge that consumers in the Highlands and Islands pay on their electricity bills.
SSE have committed to undertaking further work on a ‘social tariff’ which could reduce prices but would require the approval of the energy regulator, OFGEM.
Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell said: “We made clear the dissatisfaction and anger of people in the islands that they are subject to an additional charge on their electricity, amounting to some 15% of the charges they pay. In an area with the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK that is clearly unacceptable.
“The SSE representatives listened to the case we made and undertook to do further work on how a ‘social tariff’ could be introduced which could reduce bills.
“Whilst this would require the approval of OFGEM we made clear that we were of the view that SSE could reduce bills now if they were minded to.”
A petition of over 1,150 names, calling for the surcharge to be removed, was presented to the SSE representatives.
The petition is handed over.