Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil is writing to the UK Energy Minister, Matthew Hancock MP regarding the pricing structure of electricity charging.
At Energy Questions held in the House of Commons on 16th January 2014, Mr MacNeil received assurance from the then UK Energy Minister, Michael Fallon MP that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) would look at ways of both reducing energy bills in the islands, and help renewable producers in the islands.
Despite writing to DECC on two separate occasions since this debate, the UK government has failed to act.
Commenting Angus MacNeil said:
“Last January, I pointed out that prices were 3%-14% (across the range of the energy companies) more expensive in the Hebrides than in London, this is down to the locational price modelling taken in by the last Labour government. This also affects renewable generation in what are considered to be remote areas by Westminster.
“It was with this in mind that in January, I raised this issue at the House of Commons during Energy Question and asked the Westminster government to consider island renewable generation to be consumed on the islands, thus dropping the surcharge, both for the export and import of energy. Mr Fallon pledged that DECC would further investigate this possibility.
“It is quite clear that on both counts, generation and consumption, the Westminster model of successive governments, Labour and Tory have failed the islands. However, Westminster could ameliorate this to an extent by designating island renewables for island consumption.
“I will again be writing to the UK government’s current Energy Minister, Matthew Hancock MP to follow up on promises they made earlier on this issue.
“The UK government must take action to ease the burden on consumers. Fuel poverty in an energy rich nation is a scandal and in the Hebrides we have the worst rates of fuel poverty in the UK and the chosen bureaucratic model from Westminster compounds this. ”