Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan has said the UK Government’s lack of action is “simply not good enough” when it comes to outdated transmission charges faced by Scottish electricity generators.
The SNP MSP for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar has called on Westminster to either undertake meaningful energy reform in this area, or to devolve energy powers to Holyrood to allow the Scottish Parliament to take action.
The call comes as energy bills increased again on 1 January, with Western Isles households facing the highest average bills increase of anywhere in the UK.
Energy companies based in Scotland pay the highest charges in Europe to access the national grid, with the charges then being passed onto consumers.
Charges to access the grid in Scotland can be as high as £7.36 per mWh in the north of Scotland – while the average cost in England and Wales is 49p per mWh. In some European countries, such as the Netherlands, Poland and Germany, companies pay nothing at all to access the electricity grid. Unfair grid charges are also holding back the development of cheaper and environmentally-friendly renewable energy.
Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“It is ridiculous that areas like Na h-Eileanan an Iar have been disproportionately penalised for years when it comes to unfair transmission charges. Not only are these outdated charges being passed down to struggling consumers during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, but they are also a disincentive for companies to invest in renewable energies in Scotland.
“The UK Government must commit to reforming this unjust system – or better still, devolve these powers to Holyrood to allow the Scottish Parliament to take the necessary action.
“For years, Westminster has refused to act on this issue, thereby putting Scotland at a competitive disadvantage and risking our net zero ambitions. Meanwhile, many households in my constituency are struggling to make ends meet, with the highest energy bills and highest levels of fuel poverty in the country. It’s simply not good enough.”