New Scottish energy tariff will not tackle fuel poverty

By staff writers
August 29, 2013

A new tariff structure from the energy regulator will not adequately tackle fuel poverty in Scotland, Holyrood has been warned.

The comments come from Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian and a member of the Scottish Parliament's economy and energy committee.

The regulator Ofgem has decided to allow energy suppliers to include standing charges in their new tariffs. These charges discriminate against small-use or energy efficient consumers as they form a larger proportion of their overall energy bill, critics say.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone responded: "While the simplification of tariffs is a laudable aim it is disappointing that the regulator has failed to consider the effects of standing charges, which effectively mean small-use consumers subsidise larger consumers.

"It means it will still be difficult to compare energy companies' charges. I asked Ofgem to justify its proposal to require standing charges and they were unable to do so.

"It is clear we need greater control, greater political will and greater powers for regulators if we are to break the stranglehold of the big energy companies. Only then can we hope to eradicate fuel poverty," she said.

* Read the MSP's correspondence with Ofgem here:


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