Western Isles householders currently paying above average prices for electricity can now benefit from fairer tariffs – and help bring money back into the community too - thanks to a community-led scheme being launched today (Tuesday),
Hebrides Energy, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company led by Tighean Innse Gall, Hebridean Housing Partnership, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Stornoway Trust and Community Energy Scotland, is teaming up with Scottish “Fairer Energy” supplier Our Power to promote a range of new Hebridean Tariffs to the local market.
It is hoped that the savings offered will represent a key step in the crusade to curb fuel poverty, which now sees nearly 60 percent of Island homes struggling to afford energy bills – one of the UK’s worst hit zones.
The range of new tariffs on offer will cater for both Standard and Restricted meter customers, meaning that virtually every island home can opt to join.
Any profits will be plied back into the company’s mission to tackle fuel poverty.
Hebrides Energy Chairman Carola Bell said: “This is a first-of its kind venture for the islands and the team at Hebrides Energy has worked long and hard to get this far. It’s a great pleasure to be working with Our Power, with their proven track record and positive, community-centred ethos, and we hope that many islanders can benefit from the new tariffs on offer.
“People living on the edge of the UK have all too often been penalized by higher fuel prices and many aren’t aware that they are free to switch supplier,” she added.
“Hopefully this scheme will help to highlight this big industry issue and encourage people to think about how they pay for energy, where their money is going and how they can help their community move towards a more sustainable future.”
It is anticipated that some islanders could save as much as 20 percent on their electricity bills, having a significant impact on fuel poverty locally.
Switching to a Hebrides Energy tariff is a short and simple process online or by phone and there are no exit fees for those who wishing to return to their original energy provider.
The company provides options for consumers on Standard or Economy 7 meters and also offers the new Hebridean “Take Control” tariff, a first of its kind alternative for customers on restricted meter tariffs including many Social Housing Tenants and households that rely on night storage heating.
The partnership will also actively encourage the installation of smart meters so that consumers can keep close tabs on energy use.
Cllr Donald Crichton, Chairman of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Sustainable Development Committee, said: “The Comhairle is delighted that we have been able to support Hebrides Energy to get to this stage. Our Power’s social mission and competitive tariffs are a great match for our aspirations to tackle fuel poverty, and we hope that local households will be encouraged to take the first steps in switching energy supplier.”
To find out more about the new tariffs and how to switch go to: www.our-power.co.uk/hebrides or call 0808 189 4436.