Further Energy Price Rises Hit Electric Heating Users Most

NK/EG/CMcA/9993

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ISSUED DATE: 7 March 2017

Further Energy Price Rises Hit Electric Heating Users Most

Energy company E.ON has announced (7 March) that it is increasing its standard electricity prices by an average of 13.8 per cent from 26 April. This increase, along with similar increases by some other energy companies, will hit households that rely on electric heating particularly hard.

Already ScottishPower has said it is increasing its standard electricity prices by an average of 10.8 per cent, EDF has increased its electricity prices by 8.4 per cent, and npower will raise its standard electricity prices by 15 per cent. Meanwhile gas price increases are around the 4.5 per cent mark.

According to the Scottish Government’s figures, 12 per cent [see Table 5] of Scottish households (284,000) rely on electricity as their main source of heating. Many of these households are likely to be off the gas grid and so will have a more limited choice of heating types. Often properties in rural areas have no access to mains gas. Figures [see Table 4] show that 16 per cent of Scottish households are off the gas grid and of these, 63 per cent are in rural areas.

Norman Kerr, Director of the national fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland said: “For people struggling to make ends meet, any prices rises for basic necessities such as domestic energy will hurt. However, the increases we are seeing now of around 11 to 15 per cent for electricity will really bite.

“The price increases in electricity for those households reliant on electric heating will have a big impact. This gives a strong message to the government that more effort is needed to assist households with limited access to heating or fuel types such as those off the gas grid. Rural areas continue to need particular assistance to reduce levels of fuel poverty and the overall cost of living.

“We would encourage customers to find out from their energy supplier if they could make savings by moving to a different tariff or payment method. In addition, it’s worth shopping around to check the best deals available that suit customers’ own circumstances.”

-ends-

For further information contact:

Elizabeth Gore, Energy Action Scotland on tel: 0141 226 3064

Background information:

1. Energy Action Scotland is the national charity which campaigns to end fuel poverty and works to promote warm, dry homes for all. Website: www.eas.org.uk

2. There are currently around 748,000 households (30.7 per cent) in fuel poverty in Scotland (source: Scottish House Condition Survey).

3. Fuel poverty is the inability to afford adequate warmth in the home, defined as needing to pay more than 10 per cent of income on energy costs.

4. The main causes of fuel poverty are poor energy efficiency of the home, high domestic fuel prices and low household income.

Table 5: Primary Heating Fuel, Households (000s) and %, for All Stock and by Sector, 2015

 

 

All Stock

Private

Social

Primary Heating Fuel

000s

%

000s

%

000s

%

Mains gas

1,914

79%

1,446

78%

468

79%

Electricity

284

12%

192

10%

92

16%

Oil

158

7%

156

8%

*

*

Communal Heating

25

1%

5

0%

21

3%

Solid mineral fuel

18

1%

16

1%

*

*

LPG bulk or bottled

15

1%

*

*

*

*

Biomass

15

1%

*

*

*

*

Other

-

-

-

-

-

-

Sample size

 

2,754

 

2,095

 

659

* denotes cases where attributes appear too rarely to provide an adequate basis for reporting. See section 7.1.5 for table conventions

Table 4: Gas Grid Coverage Overall and by Urban/Rural Location, 2015

Gas Grid Coverage

Location

Urban

Rural

 

000s

%

000s

%

000s

%

On Gas Grid

2,038

84%

1,887

93%

150

37%

Off Gas Grid

396

16%

135

7%

261

63%

Total

2,434

100%

2,022

100%

412

100%

Sample size

 

2,754

 

2,147

 

607

Source: Scottish House Condition Survey: Key Findings 2015