GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Monday 27 May 2024
 11.9°C   S Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Energy / Green MSP presses government on ‘Shetland tariff’

Hjaltland Housing Association, meanwhile, says it is “working hard behind the scenes to help mitigate the impact on their tenants” as energy prices rise

SCOTTISH Greens’ Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess has called on the UK Government to heed calls for a Shetland energy tariff to allow communities to benefit from renewables and tackle fuel poverty.

In a letter to Scotland Secretary Alister Jack, Burgess urged the government to recognise the pressing need to avoid a situation where all of the profits from Shetland’s renewables flow south without benefiting island communities.

The idea of a “Shetland tariff” has support from the council, as well as local political representatives.

The concept would allow the islands to buy electricity wholesale, leading to cheaper prices.

Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess.

With the large Viking Energy wind farm due to come on stream in 2024, Shetland is set to become a net exporter of energy in the coming years but still suffers from one of the worst fuel poverty rates in the UK.

Burgess said: “People in Shetland who are struggling to heat their home will see it as a bitter injustice if the islands become a net energy exporter while their bills remain sky-high.

“In that context the proposed Shetland Tariff, which would be an important first step to alleviating fuel poverty, is actually a very modest proposal and the Tory’s refusal to engage on the issue is unsustainable.

“This is an idea that has support from across the political spectrum, including from Alistair Carmichael, and I urge UK Government officials to make urgent progress on this issue.

“Ultimately though, we need to see radical steps to empower communities and support local ownership alongside the expansion of renewables to ensure that people, not distant corporations, see real benefits from the growth of green energy.”

Hjaltland Housing Association, meanwhile, says it is “working hard behind the scenes to help mitigate the impact on their tenants” as energy prices rise.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


It said households with a pre-payment meter have seen a rise in the region of 40 per cent over the last four years, further increasing pressure on household budgets and pushing more Shetland families into fuel poverty.

Tapping in to three consecutive national initiatives, the association has helped distribute over £20,000 to their tenants in the last six months alone, with over 230 households referred for financial assistance.

Hjaltland has been working in partnership with Home Energy Scotland, HACT, The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and the Scottish Government, whilst it said it is very grateful for the operational support from the Sound Service Station, the Co-op and the Bolts Post Office.

Hjaltland Housing Association financial inclusion officer Jennifer Laurenson said: “It has been such a difficult year for many of our tenants, and we are delighted to help alleviate some of the financial burden.

“We have received phenomenal feedback from those who benefited from the vouchers, and it can’t be underestimated the impact even a small contribution can have on a family’s disposable income.”

Head of housing and customer services Ian Bray added: “Although we are grateful for the opportunity to support our tenants in this way, we understand this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of eradicating fuel poverty, and the association is committed to working with tenants to improve the energy efficiency in their homes.”

In the meantime, housing tenants can access support from both the association and Shetland’s Citizens Advice Bureau.

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael recently reminded constituents to switch energy supplier if they can if they are struggling to pay the bills.

It came after supplier Bulb announced it was increasing its price for a second time this year.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.