Orcadians facing huge rises in their electricity bills are questioning why, in islands that produce over 120% of their energy needs through renewables, are so many islanders being forced to choose between heating and eating.
Local activists have launched a window poster campaign asking why an energy rich Scotland also pays the highest prices to buy back its own generated electricity. They are asking people to print off the poster and put it in their window to start off their campaign against the massive electricity price hike.
You can download a poster here:
A recent article in The Orkney News reported on the ‘broken’ energy system we have in the UK where the places that produce the energy pay the highest prices to supply it back into their own homes and businesses. Energy Rich: Fuel Poor
Organisations like THAW Orkney provide invaluable support for those struggling to heat their homes.
Not being able to heat your home to an adequate level causes physical and mental health issues. This is a looming public health crisis.
The world’s first grid connected wind turbine at Costa Hill, Orkney
You can read more about Costa Hill and the world’s first grid connected wind turbine here: The 1955 Costa Hill Wind Turbine
Orkney has a very long record in the successful development and production of renewable energy.
Energy is a reserved issue to the UK Government who will be imposing a £200 loan on all households. No one has any choice in this. We are all going to be encumbered with a UK Government imposed debt.
Here’s money expert Martin Lewis to explain how it ‘works’:
“In October, on every single electricity bill in England, Scotland and Wales, you will either have your bill reduced by £200, or you’ll be given a bill credit. If you’re on prepay, they’ll pay it through your smart meter or they’ll give you a voucher or a cheque.
“This is going to happen. There is no choice about it. It is not optional and it is going to happen automatically on every single bill.
“Then from the following April, and for five years after that, you will then have your bill automatically – without choice – increased by £40 a year. That is how it will work.
“The best way to think of it is as a form of energy bill levy. We already have levies on energy bills, we all pay a part of our bill which goes towards green infrastructure, whether you have green energy or not. A part of our bill goes towards funding the cost of moving customers whose firm has gone bust to a supplier of last resort. That is a levy added to our bill.
“So what’s going to happen here, is in October, we’ll have rather strangely a negative levy. They will take £200 off bills. And then each April after that, they will add a £40 levy back on them for five years to recoup the cost.
“There is no personal loan to an individual. This isn’t about, you borrowed money, you pay it back. So if you’re living at home with parents and you move out in two years’ time, even though you didn’t get the £200, your bill will still be £40 higher – every household will be charged £40 more. You’ll simply get your energy bill and it will be higher because of this levy and the one this October will be lower.
“There’s no sort of loan account to an individual or even to a household. It’s more a negative levy than a positive levy. “
The poster designed by Orcadian artist Martin Laird can also be shared on social media using the hashtag #powerforus .
A local initiative on fuel bills is a great idea, perhaps calling for energy powers to be devolved to the SG. But this reads like cheap exploitation of am issue by the SNP. Perhaps adding a slogan to the poster would help.