MSP tackles fuel price increases for islands residents

Highlands & Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has made representation to Scottish & Southern Energy after being contacted by constituents about forthcoming energy price increases.

Mrs Grant said “I understand SSE say the average price increase for dual fuel customers is 9%. However most customers on the Western Isles cannot access SSE’s gas network. SSE, while cutting the electricity “standing charge” is increasing the cost of each unit of electricity which is resulting in one of my constituents (who cannot access dual fuel) facing an increase of around 11.17% for electricity.

Mrs Grant continued “It is grossly unfair that customers who cannot access gas, through no fault of their own, are being hit harder than those customers who can access dual fuel. Fuel poverty levels on the Western Isles are the highest of any British local authority - 60% of the islands’ population likely to be in fuel poverty and over 25% in extreme fuel poverty. Compare this to 2005 figures when 25% of the islands’ population was believed to be in fuel poverty and about 10% in extreme fuel poverty and this makes worrying reading.

Mrs Grant said “I have written to SSE asking if there is an alternative reduction available for those on the islands who cannot access dual fuel. I have also asked if the increase in electricity price is spread evenly across the UK and if people who live off the gas network and who pay-as-they-go with key meters are being equally treated.”