BBC Radio 4 Interview: Energy tariff differences across Scotland

Robert Buckley, our Head of Retail and Development, headed over to BBC Radio 4’s studios in London to talk about our latest research, that highlights the energy price divide between the north and south of Scotland.

The research showed a stark difference to what customers are paying for their energy in the north of Scotland compared to the south of the country. For example, the average prepayment meter gas tariff is £100 more expensive in the north, with standard variable tariffs typically £68 more expensive than its southern counterparts. The graph below illustrates this marked difference.

Talking on the differences in energy prices, Robert said:

“We found that by analysing the average prices for the different payment terms for electricity and gas you could have a differential of £100 between different types of tariff between  the north and south of Scotland, and the prices in the north are the most expensive for electricity across the whole of Great Britain.”

In the interview, it was pointed out that there were several reasons for such varying costs across the country. Including the charges for electricity distribution being the most expensive in Great Britain, adding to the costs of a customer’s bill. “The Scottish distribution network in the north covers a vast area, with relatively few people connected to it so, it is a higher cost of operation that’s long been acknowledged,” said Robert.

Issues surrounding the renewable subsidy and the limited access to gas was another reason for the discrepancies. The renewable subsidy is only paid on the electricity bill, so electric-only customers with no access to the gas network will be “paying the cost of subsidy twice” compared to those who have a gas heated system. These customers also miss out on the dual fuel benefits compared to those who have access to the gas network.

It is not all doom and gloom, with fixed tariffs priced more consistently throughout Scotland than the rest of GB. However, northern Scottish residents are still required to be more engaged with the market just to be on the same level playing field as the rest of Scotland.

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