Keeping costs low for Scottish consumers and putting them in control of their energy bills should be a key aim for suppliers, the second Scotland Office Energy Summit heard today (Thursday 17 May).
The event, held in Rutherglen, brought together the “Big Six” energy companies, consumer groups and the UK and Scottish Governments as well as the industry regulator Ofgem.
It was chaired by the Scotland Office Minister David Mundell and builds on the work of the first Scottish summit which was held by Michael Moore in October.
As rising energy costs continue to put pressure on domestic budgets across the country, the Summit provides a forum for the energy industry and organisations to discuss ways to reduce prices and identify ways to make tariffs simpler to understand so consumers can choose the best deal. The Summit also has a focus on energy efficiency measures for households, emphasising the range of steps people can take to save energy in their homes.
The Summit heard that the UK Government was building on its policies - such as the Warm Home Discount Scheme - by bringing forward further initiatives such as the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation.
The energy suppliers presented a summary of the work they had undertaken since the last Summit. Consumer groups gave an update of their activity in terms of identifying gaps and problem areas and officials from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change explained the details of the Warm Home Discount and other policies as well as work on the inclusion of hard-to-reach consumers such as the over 65s. .
The Scotland Office Minister David Mundell said:
“The Summit is a unique chance to bring together the energy companies, consumer groups and Scotland’s two governments to tackle the issues of rising bills and fuel poverty. These are serious issues and we are making good progress as we work towards a simpler and cheaper system for Scottish households and families.
“This Government wants people to be paying as little as possible for their energy and, while we can’t control volatile global prices, we can look at the best ways to get the lowest possible tariff and also save as much energy as we can.
“The UK Government has already launched a number of policies designed to help, which shows how seriously we take this issue.
“I am very grateful for everyone who took part in the Summit and the spirit in which they looked constructively at the issues and are working towards solution. The energy companies are playing their part alongside consumer groups and government and I am certain we can continue to work towards the best deal for people across Scotland”.
Organisations represented at the Summit were:
Citizens Advice Scotland
Consumer Focus Scotland
Energy Action Scotland