The SNP is today welcoming the announcement that social landlords in Scotland will launch the UK’s first independent non-profit distributing energy company.
The company, Our Power Energy, founded by housing associations and local authorities, aims to save its members in the most disadvantaged communities in Scotland up to £11 million over five years. The company will be supported with repayable loans of £2.5 million from the Scottish Government and £1 million from Social Investment Scotland.
The company aims to tackle fuel poverty which is at the highest level in a decade – driven by a 7 per cent increase in fuel bills between 2012 and 2013. The Competition and Markets Authority found last week that between 2009 and 2013 households paid about £1.2 billion more than had competition between the energy companies functioned effectively.
Commenting, Clare Adamson MSP said:
“This is a fantastic announcement that will go some way to tackling rising energy bills for our most disadvantaged communities, particularly those living in fuel poverty. It is a scandal that in energy rich Scotland there are any people that are struggling to heat their homes.
“Since 2009 the Scottish Government has allocated half a billion pounds on fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes – this latest investment will see social landlords in Scotland leading the UK on tackling energy costs.
“Only last week we discovered that over the last few years the big six energy companies have been overcharging households by millions. We need a more robust approach to energy bills at a UK level – that’s why we support giving Ofgem the power to enforce price reductions when wholesale costs are lower.
“We have a UK Government that is slashing the incomes of the poorest while fuel bills have risen. They have the power to make a difference – they must use the powers they have to take action on energy bills.”