Possible to change legislation on 2p electricity surcharge

Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs, Rhoda Grant and David Stewart, say they are heartened that Ofgem have confirmed to them that it is possible to change the legislation surrounding the 2p electricity surcharge which north customers are presently charged by SSE.

Mrs Grant and Mr Stewart met with Charles Gallagher, Ofgem’s Director GB External Relations (Scotland and Wales), in Parliament this morning (Thursday) to discuss the matter which was raised late last year after the Western Isles Poverty Action Group highlighted the fact the extra 2p surcharge Highlands and Islands customers pay per unit results in north residents paying an average of £300 a year more than customers further south.

Speaking after today’s meeting, Mrs Grant said: “David Stewart and I met with Ofgem today and are heartened to have confirmation from them that a change to this unfair subsidy is possible but requires legislation to be amended by the UK parliament at Westminster.

“We will therefore continue with our endeavours to have this legislation changed as soon as is possible.

Shadow Islands Minister, David Stewart, said: “I have previously contacted the Secretary of State for Energy, Ed Davey, about this matter and await his response to my request to rid the Highlands and Islands of the these unfair charges which are levelled against north customers due to their geographical location. “People in the Highlands and Islands already face some of the worst weather conditions, have poor insulation and high levels of fuel poverty. The meeting today was welcome.

“I am confident that we have a solid case and will continue with the fight to lobby the ConDem coalition to bring about the changes required to legislation.”