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.

Domestic Tariff advert

Related thinking

Low carbon generation

Data centres predicted to become prosumers of electricity

In combination with Cornwall Insight and Bit Power, Host in Ireland published its Biannual report of Ireland’s Data Hosting Industry. The report highlights the importance of sustainability in Ireland’s digital transformation. The report confirmed the number of operational data centres in Ireland increased by 25 per cent over the past...


Your invite to our wholesale Summer Outlook 2021 webinar

We are delighted to invite you to our wholesale Summer Outlook webinar. On 12 May, Cornwall Insight will be hosting an open webinar covering our independent views, analysis and outlook of the upcoming summer 2021 period. As part of this session, we will explore a range of both historic and...

Regulation and policy

Electricity transmission charging reform – overtaken by changing priorities?

Charging for the transmission network is never out of the development process for long. From major reviews, such as that initiated under Project Transmit in 2010, to significant reforms such as removing the triad benefit from distributed generation in 2018, and a host of smaller developments, change seems the only...

Low carbon generation

Up north and down south – trends for generator TNUoS charging

The topic of generator Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) is becoming a subject of increasing interest for stakeholders as regulation, policy, and the generation mix create potential volatility for future charging trends. The significant costs posed through TNUoS are an important consideration for generators, with high variability between regions...

Regulation and policy

Ofgem “hands-on” in RIIO-2 as net zero route unfolds

During the next round of the RIIO price controls, Ofgem can be expected to take a more hands-on approach to outputs the networks are required to provide and the allowed revenues they can charge their users or consumers. This will have impacts for network development including the enabling of electric...

Low carbon generation

A look back at 2020 part 4

As we take our first steps into 2021, we take our final look back at the biggest developments in the UK energy markets in 2020, setting us up for the significant year ahead. Ofgem issued its decarbonisation Action Plan on 3 February as Jonathan Brearley became Ofgem CEO, setting out...

Regulation and policy

A look back at 2020 part 3

As we take our first steps into 2021, we continue to look back at the biggest developments in the UK energy markets in 2020, setting us up for the significant year ahead. The mergers and exits from the supply market that were seen in 2019 continued into 2020 and led...

Regulation and policy

New gas transmission charging requires early charge changes

New gas transmission charging arrangements were implemented in October 2020 under UNC678A Amendments to Gas Charging Regime (Postage Stamp) in order to achieve alignment with the EU Tariffs Code (TAR). The change introduced a framework around capacity charges to cover transmission revenues with a methodology to calculate reserve prices based...