SNP MP to lead debate on fairer energy pricing for the Highlands and Islands

Residents living in the Highlands and Islands pay higher energy costs than other parts of the UK.

This week, local MP Drew Hendry will lead a debate in Parliament, urging the UK Government to implement a energy rebate for people living in the Highlands and Islands.

Households across the region are paying the highest electricity standing charges in the UK, the cost that is applied every day, and around 50% more than in London, despite having higher bills due to a colder climate and living in an area that generates more wind and hydro power than anywhere else in the UK.

This latest debate follows the launch of the Highland Energy Rebate campaign in January by Hendry, which has since gained wide support from Highland stakeholders. Hendry met with the Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero ahead of the the debate to discuss the Highland Energy Rebate proposal.

The campaign advocates for a fair rebate scheme for Highlands and Islands residents, who significantly contribute to the UK’s renewable energy production but face higher energy costs than many other regions of the UK.

In the autumn statement the Chancellor announced a new funding scheme for those living next to new power infrastructure, such as pylons. Hendry believes this new scheme presents an opportunity for the Chancellor to create a similar scheme for residents in the Highlands & Islands region, recognising the inequity of the current energy market and the regions unique contribution to renewables.

A recent Scottish Islands Data publication looking at Island and rural local authorities in the North of Scotland stated that ‘almost two-thirds (65)% of rural dwellings are not connected to the gas grid and therefore have to rely on more expensive heating fuel such as electricity and oil’, pushing households further into fuel poverty.

Commenting ahead of the debate, Drew Hendry said:

“It’s unfair that people in the Highlands and Islands continue to pay more for energy when we live in a place that produces more renewable energy than we need to use. The Highland Energy Rebate is not just a policy proposal; it’s a call for fairness and equity in energy pricing and offers a sustainable model for the UK Government to implement to secure its path to Net Zero.

We pay higher bills, have higher usage due to the cold climate we live in, and face the highest levels of fuel poverty – all as a region that produces the most renewable energy through wind and hydro in the UK, and exports a large portion of it.

Why should people in the Highlands and Islands be paying up to 50% more for their electricity standing charges than people living in London? This campaign aims to rectify this imbalance.

This matter is wholly reserved, so I am urging the UK Government to recognise the unique circumstances of our region and to implement a fair energy pricing and rebate scheme.

In the autumn, the Chancellor has stated he will provide funding for those living next to new power infrastructure, so why not those living with existing infrastructure?”

Mr Hendry believes the proposed rebate scheme will alleviate the financial strain of high energy costs on households and believes the scheme could be a pilot scheme that could be rolled out to other regions contributing significantly to the energy market.

As a Highland MP, Hendry has long campaigned for fair energy pricing for the region. In addition to this campaign, he also introduced a bill in Parliament urging Ofgem to ensure fairer pricing for households not connected to the gas grid. His commitment to tackling unfair energy costs and work to support rural communities saw him recently awarded MP of the Year award from the Patchwork Foundation, a charity that recognises Members of Parliaments for their work supporting disadvantaged and marginalised communities.

To find out more about the Highland Energy Rebate campaign, to read the report or sign the petition, visit

Mr Hendry will lead the debate titled ‘Introduction of energy rebates for Highlands and Islands’ in Westminster Hall at 9.30am on Wednesday 6th of March.