Drew Hendry, MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey and Brendan O’Hara MP who represent Argyll and Bute communities today announced the launch of a new campaign aimed at introducing the Highland Energy Rebate.
The campaign seeks to address the disproportionate energy costs faced by residents of the Highlands & Islands, who play a significant role in the UK’s renewable energy production yet pay higher energy costs than many other regions of the UK.
The Highland Energy Rebate report released as part of the campaign states ‘The Highland & Islands region is pivotal in generating renewable energy for the UK but faces higher energy costs due to transmission and distribution charges.
This campaign addresses the unfair economic burden on these communities, aligning with broader national goals of fair energy distribution and sustainability’.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Mr Hendry said:
“The Highland Energy Rebate is not just a policy proposal; it’s a call for fairness and equity in energy pricing.
“Our communities contribute immensely to the nation’s renewable energy yet face bills that are way above the average compared to those across the UK.
“We pay more, have to use more, due to our climate and face the highest levels of fuel poverty – all as a region that exports more than 6 times the electricity it produces.
“Why should they be paying nearly 30% more than people living in London?
“This campaign aims to rectify this imbalance.”
“This is a wholly reserved matter, so we are urging the UK Government to recognise the unique circumstances of our region and to implement a fair energy pricing and rebate scheme.
“The Chancellor has stated he will provide funding for those living next to new developments, why not those living with existing power infrastructure?
“It’s time to support the communities that are pivotal the green ambitions across the nations of the UK.”
The proposed rebate scheme is designed to provide financial relief to residents of the Highlands & Islands, especially those in off-grid areas, by offsetting the higher per-unit costs of electricity they currently face.
The campaign aligns with broader national goals of fair energy distribution and sustainability.
Argyll and Bute MP, Brendan O’Hara added:
“The Highlands and Islands of Scotland produce far more clean, renewable energy than we can ever use.
“That energy heats and keeps the lights on in millions of homes across the United Kingdom.
“Despite producing that energy, when we come to use it, we face some of the highest standing charges and the highest unit price in the UK, and we have the highest fuel poverty rates anywhere in the UK.
“Unfortunately, it’s only the UK government who have the power to change that, and that’s why we have launched the campaign for a Highland Energy Rebate for residents of the Highlands and Islands.
“It’s high time we benefited from the energy we produce.”
As well as a direct call to the UK Government, the campaign is set to engage local stakeholders, the Scottish government, and energy companies, aiming to foster a sense of community involvement and empowerment.
The Highland Energy Rebate report is available for further insights into the campaign’s objectives and strategies.
Highland Energy Rebate Report: Link to Report