Fuel hikes are a disgrace, says Swinney

The Scottish Finance Secretary has called on power provider Scottish Power to explain their recent price rises. John Swinney said he was concerned over the extended impacts such rises would […]

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By Tom Gibson

The Scottish Finance Secretary has called on power provider Scottish Power to explain their recent price rises.

John Swinney said he was concerned over the extended impacts such rises would have: “These increases will leave many households, in real, real difficulty. If these increases were replicated by the other suppliers, we estimate over 900,000 households would be in fuel poverty in energy-rich Scotland. That is an utter disgrace and simply underlines the urgent need for Scotland to secure responsibility for its own North Sea oil and gas resources.”

The Finance Secretary has also urged energy regulator Ofgem to accelerate action to protect vulnerable customers and make the energy market more transparent.

Mr Swinney said: “I urge Ofgem to press ahead with Retail Market Review and radically simplify tariff structures and make it easier for consumers to compare prices. I am asking Ofgem to consider compulsory tariffs for the fuel poor and ways of ensuring companies pay more into schemes to protect the fuel poor. And many people feel that power companies are quick to pass on wholesale prices rise but not cut bills as quickly when they fall.”

The Finance Secretary said that the price rises were indicative of an over reliance on fossil fuels: “These latest price shocks yet again underline why it is vital to go faster and further to secure our future as a green energy powerhouse and source all of our electricity needs from renewables by 2020, creating a secure, diverse future energy mix.”