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by Liam Kirkaldy
25 January 2019
Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse urges Ofgem to investigate households self-disconnecting from electricity or gas supplies

Image credit: Holyrood

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse urges Ofgem to investigate households self-disconnecting from electricity or gas supplies

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse has urged Ofgem to investigate how poverty is driving some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland to disconnect from electricity or gas supplies.

Speaking during General Question Time in the chamber, Wheelhouse warned that while data from the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets shows there were no disconnections in Scotland in 2017, self-disconnection data is not reported on.

He said: “Those data do not capture the daily reality of self-disconnection by fuel-poor, indebted and vulnerable households.

“Self-disconnection data are not currently reported on; we continue to call for Ofgem to further investigate the hidden impact of self-disconnection, in line with the refresh of its consumer vulnerability strategy.”

SNP MSP Bob Doris raised concerns that dozens of homes in his Glasgow constituency remain disconnected from the energy system, saying prohibitive reconnection charges and unreasonable repayment schedules were hitting the poorest customers.

The Scottish Government held a summit to discuss action on fuel poverty with energy companies and consumer groups in January.

Wheelhouse said: “The work remains a high priority as we develop our Scottish energy consumer vision and action plan. To date, the energy companies have been supportive of the work that we are trying to do in that respect.”

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