News / Robinson ‘appalled’ by SSE

SIC leader Gary Robinson has hit out at SSE over the higher tariff for islanders.

SHETLAND Islands Council leader Gary Robinson has backed calls for SSE to explain why consumers in the Highlands and Islands pay a higher tariff for electricity than consumers in other parts of the country.

The issue has been raised by a group in the Western Isles calling for action on fuel poverty.

It is seeking Scottish Government support for its campaign to get SSE to remove a “completely unacceptable” 2p per unit surcharge applied to customers in the region.

The group has written to SSE for an explanation, and created an online petition to have the charge removed with immediate effect. Representatives of the Western Isles’ local authority are due to meet the company this week.

Robinson said: “I’m appalled that SSE should believe it was acceptable to charge its customers in the highlands and islands 2p per unit more for their electricity.

“Fuel poverty is one of the most serious issues affecting people living in the region, and this flies in the face of any notion of a universal service or parity. SSE must act to redress this unfair situation as soon as possible.”


Earlier this year a report suggested that over 40 per cent of islanders, and two thirds of the elderly, are living in fuel poverty – defined as spending 10 per cent or more of the household budget on energy costs.

An SSE spokesman said the charges “are set by the distribution network operators and all suppliers factor these into their energy tariffs”.

He said the tariff did not single out the Highlands and Islands because customers in areas including Dundee, Perth, Inverness, North Wales and Merseyside paid the same rate.

“SSE favours replacing this regional variation with one national charge across Great Britain and has raised this with the competition and markets authority as one way to simplify customers’ bills,” the spokesman said.

“We know affordability is customers’ number one concern – that’s why we’ve frozen our standard energy prices to at least January 2016, giving people peace of mind through this winter and into the next that their pries won’t rise.”

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