Electricity Standing Charges

6 Sep 2023

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine secured a pledge from UK Energy Minister Andrew Bowie to address regional differences in electricity standing charges.

During a debate on the Energy Bill yesterday, the minister pledged to meet with Christine, Ofgem and other main players from the UK Energy Sector in Scotland and look into the issue.

Consumers in Southern Scotland currently pay 60% more than those in London with only one other region in the UK (North Wales and Mersey) paying a higher standing charge.

Gas standing charges are the same across the UK.

Christine pointed out that in a cost of living crisis the standing charges disproportionately affect those on lower incomes and exacerbate and already difficult situation for many. 

While her amendment to the Energy Bill was not voted on, this meeting signals a significant breakthrough which could lead to an equalisation of standing electricity charges.

She said: “I was delighted that the Minister agreed that it is an area that has to be addressed, although he was not able to give any detail of what the Government might have in mind. We shall keep pressing for a resolution.

“Action on this could make a difference to many of my constituents who have had months of coping with high energy bills and a rocketing cost of living while knowing they are paying more in standing charges than many others.

“It seems unfair that anyone, anywhere in the country should have to pay considerably more. That is why I have consistently brought this issue to the Government in search of a resolution. 

“I am grateful that the Minister is going to take things on, but assurances are one thing, and I will wait to see how this issue is actually addressed, and charges fall.”


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