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WATCH: Drew Hendry, MP Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, secures UK Government talks on a scheme to create fairer energy prices in the Highlands and Islands

By Alasdair Fraser

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Drew Hendry addresses the committee
Drew Hendry addresses the committee

A Scottish National Party MP has secured further discussions with a UK Government Minister on creating fairer energy prices for the Highlands and Islands.

Drew Hendry, MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, led a debate in Westminster Hall on Wednesday on the Highland Energy Rebate proposal.

Amanda Solloway, Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, has now agreed to further talks on the issue of unfair energy prices for households in the north of Scotland.

Residents in the Highlands currently pay a standing charge 50 per cent higher than people in London.

Mr Hendry was joined in the discussion by four other north MPs, demonstrating strong cross-party support and commitment to the campaign's objectives.

Mr Hendry has led the campaign against disproportionate energy costs burdening the residents of the Highlands and Islands, with the idea of the Highland Energy Rebate gaining broad support from other stakeholders in the region.

Before the debate, the MP met with the Minister to discuss the proposal and welcomed her agreement to continue discussions about creating a fair rebate scheme to recognise the Highlands and Islands’ substantial contribution to renewable energy production and address the energy market's inequities.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Hendry said: "The Minister's commitment to continuing discussions about the Highland Energy Rebate is welcome, and I will follow up with her very soon.

"Still, people living here need action, not warm words.

“The energy pricing market is broken and, far from reducing standing charges, the latest Ofgem review sees ours going up, now a staggering 50 per cent higher than the daily standing charge residents in London pay.

"The Highland Energy Rebate is not just a proposal, it's a solution for more sustainable and equitable energy pricing.

“If the Chancellor can introduce a scheme to support those living beside new infrastructure, he could introduce one for those living in an area that generates more hydro and wind power than anywhere else on these isles.

"People living in the Highlands and Islands face the highest level of fuel poverty and higher bills because of the colder climates, and we are paying higher standing charges and some of the highest unit charges.

“All of this when we live in an energy-rich region.

“This inequity has gone on long enough and I will continue to work with others to see the Highland Energy Rebate implemented."

Mr Hendry launched the Highland Energy Rebate campaign in January as part of his ongoing work to tackle unfair energy pricing.

The proposal advocates for a rebate scheme for residents in the Highlands & Islands who contribute significantly to the UK's renewable energy production.

It targets the imbalance in energy costs, particularly for those in off-grid areas who cannot access cheaper energy alternatives.

Further information on the Highland Energy Rebate campaign, including access to the report and petition, is found at www.highlandenergyrebate.com.

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