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Highland MP Drew Hendry to Lead Debate on Energy Price Discrimination

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Highland MP Drew Hendry (pictured) will today (Wednesday, 23 February) lead a ten-minute rule Bill calling on the UK government to end geographical energy price discrimination.

The Energy Pricing (Off Gas Grid Households) Bill, introduced by Drew Hendry MP, will urge the Secretary of State and Ofgem to introduce new measures to prevent households from being burdened with additional costs for failing to live in an area with a main gas supply.

The current price cap, introduced by the UK government and Ofgem, is based on the assumption that a UK household’s energy consumption is split 80% gas and 20% electricity – however, 17% of UK households currently live in an off-gas area.

As a result, off-grid homes are forced to pay three to four time more on their energy bills than the average UK household.

The MP for Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey wants to see the UK government deliver “a clear timetable to stop this form of discrimination once and for all”.

Mr Hendry’s Bill has also won the support of fellow Highland Members of Parliament.

Commenting, Drew Hendry MP said:

“The UK Government and Ofgem’s price cap has failed to consider this additional cost burden on households without mains gas.

“As a result, through no fault of their own, off-grid homes are set to pay energy bills of somewhere between three to four times more than the ‘average’ UK household for the same amount of domestic energy consumption.

“This is unacceptable that households across the Highlands and Islands continue to carry the burden of unfair energy surcharges.

“That is why I am bringing forward this Energy Pricing Bill before Parliament.

“If introduced, it will force the UK government to work alongside Ofgem to address the issue head on, and set out a clear timetable to stop this form of discrimination once and for all.

“Households should not be punished for living in an off-grid area.

“It is time for the UK government to act.

“I am glad to have the support of other Highland MPs on this issue and will continue to work with them and the Highlands & Islands Housing Associations Affordable Warmth Group to ensure the voice of our communities is heard loud and clear at Westminster.”

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