Energy Secretary Ed Davey today claimed independence could push up Scottish consumers’ energy bills by nearly £200 per household and hundreds of thousands of pounds for a medium sized manufacturer.
Energy is a central point in the Scottish National Party’s argument in favour of a ‘Yes vote’ at the Scottish referendum.
But today Mr Davey argued Scottish energy bills are lower now because the single UK energy market is ten times the size of Scotland’s energy market.
Launching the UK Government’s Energy Paper on the impact of independence on energy in Edinburgh, the Energy Secretary said: “Without unrestricted access to the integrated GB market, the costs of supporting Scottish energy network investment, small-scale renewables and programmes to support remote consumers would fall on Scottish bill payers alone – this would add at least £38 to annual household energy bills and around £110,000 to energy costs for a medium-sized manufacturer in 2020.
“In addition, if the full costs of supporting large scale Scottish renewables fell to Scottish bill payers the total potential increase would rise considerably up to £189 for households and £608,000 for a medium sized manufacturer in 2020.”
In a blog post today, he said that “of course the SNP’s energy script is different”, adding: “They have threatened the rest of the UK with blackouts. Yet the reality is England imports more electricity from France and the Netherlands than it does from Scotland and we’re making plans to import more with new interconnectors.”
Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael added: “This paper shows how the broad shoulders of the UK benefit Scotland – and how the rest of the UK benefits from Scotland being part of it. Sharing the cost of research and infrastructure keeps fuel bills down in every part of Scotland, from the big cities to the most remote communities.”