By Laura Moulden
A £50 million power bill saving is to be brought to northern Scotland through the Hydro Benefit Replacement Scheme, the government has announced.
Energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey called for comments on the issue of electricity distribution costs in the region on Friday (March 1st) and outlined plans to retain the scheme.
Speaking in Aberdeen, the minister claimed the programme is another example of how Scotland benefits from being part of the UK.
“With the size of the Great Britain consumer base we are able to spread the cost of protecting consumers in the North of Scotland,” he said.
“I believe wholeheartedly that Scotland is stronger as part of the UK, and that the UK is stronger with Scotland in it.”
The scheme will equate to an average bill saving of £31 a year to nearly 700.000 domestic consumers in northern Scotland and 70,000 non-domestic consumers are also set to benefit.
UK energy minister John Hayes explained that the scheme “cushions” the region from being subjected to the full cost of distributing power over such a sparsley-populated area.
“It shows that as one nation with a shared energy market, the British are stronger together,” he added.
The announcement marked the start of Mr Davey’s visit to Aberdeen, in which he will visit the city’s council to discuss energy efficiency, as well as meeting European commissioner Gunther Oettinger.