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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

CALL TO END DISCRIMINATION AND UNFAIRNESS IN ENERGY MARKET

09/02/2017  

MORAY MP CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL NETWORK CHARGE

SNP MP for Moray Angus Robertson is calling on the UK Government to “end the discrimination and unfairness” that exists within the UK’s energy market and introduce a universal network charge. This would replace the 14 regional markets that currently have different charges which make energy supply to Moray much higher than other areas like London.

Local MP Mr Robertson says this would introduce greater fairness and help ensure that rural communities are not penalised with higher costs simply because of where they live.

The issue has been raised by the SNP at Prime Minister’s Questions and in various debates in recent months but the UK Government has so far failed to offer any concrete assurances over a universal network charge and simply said the UK Government is “looking at making sure that energy markets in the UK are indeed working properly”.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“The cost of energy, especially for rural households, is really significant and in some cases people are being forced to choose whether to ‘heat or eat’. That is simply unacceptable in an energy rich country like Scotland.

“Winter is a difficult time for many people but it is especially so for people in areas like Moray and the Highlands and Islands, who are penalised with higher energy costs because of where they live.

“Across the UK there are 14 regional markets with different levels of network charges meaning that electricity distribution charges for the north of Scotland are 84% higher than the charges for London and the standard unit price is 2p a kw/hr more than in other parts of the UK.

“While 2p doesn’t sounds like much it is a premium of 15% for consumers in the north of Scotland.

“In rural Scotland where households in off-gas areas rely on using domestic heating oil and solid fuel, costs are even higher, with energy bills, on average, around £1000 more than the national average.

“It is time the UK Government introduced a universal network charge and put an end to the discrimination and unfairness that exists within our energy market.”

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