Electricity consumers in the Western Isles and the Highlands may be in line for an increase on the present 2p surcharge imposed on them by SSE.
SSE will consult on the Scottish Government’s National Marine Plan this month. The meeting will be held on 9 September in the Caladh Inn.
The National Marine Plan may require SSE to add additional protection to subsea cables and any additional cost passed on to consumers in the Islands and Highlands.
Chair of the Western Isles Poverty Action Group, Angus McCormack, said:
“This is really quite absurd. Is it possible that the Scottish Government wishes to add a further surcharge to island consumers? There is little doubt that the present surcharge is leading directly to the 71% of people in fuel poverty in the islands. Does the Scottish Government through SSE wish to increase that number?
SSE has been condemned by the Competition and Markets Authority for overcharging its customers over a number of years which is why it had profits of £1.5 billion. SSE should remove the 2p surcharge forthwith not seek to impose yet more grief on islanders.
SSE have stated: “Scotland’s National Marine Plan includes policies on how submarine electricity cables are laid and protected on the seabed to achieve seabed user co-existence. These policies may require us to change our long established approach. Such a change would require significant additional capital expenditure, which will ultimately be paid for by electricity consumers on the Scottish Islands and across the north of Scotland under current arrangements.”
Angus McCormack said: “I hope as many people as possible will go along to the consultation on 9 September and make their views known.”