An online workshop will be held on Tuesday 27 September at 7pm which aims to provide Islanders with advice and support with their energy bills.
The workshop will feature experts from Energy Action Scotland, Tighean Innse Gall and energy supplier E.ON, and will be hosted by SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan.
While the UK Government’s recent ‘energy price guarantee’ announcement will prevent Ofgem’s price cap from rising by the previously predicted 80% next month, energy prices will still be hiked by around 27%.
This will take many household bills to double what they were last winter, when combined with the previous price cap rise in April.
The Western Isles already experiences some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK, due to a combination of factors such as the majority of homes being off gas-grid, outdated transmission charges, poor energy efficiency in many types of local houses, and harsher weather conditions than in other parts of the country.
Alasdair Allan said: “I know people throughout the Western Isles will be extremely anxious about their energy bills in the months ahead, and I hope that the information and advice presented by experts during this online session will be helpful for attendees.
“Households and businesses should not have been put in a position where bills are so impossibly high in the first place, and while the new Prime Minister’s energy price guarantee offers some temporary relief, unfortunately there remains a reluctance within the UK Government to properly address the underlying issues.
"People in the Western Isles should not have to continue to pay such disproportionately high bills when we have such a wealth of renewable energy resources generating electricity right here. It is also worth noting that, unlike the UK, EU countries have placed a €140bn windfall tax on the abnormally high excess profits of energy giants, something the UK Government has ruled out.
“However, it is vital that people in the islands know what their options are, if they are worried about their energy bills over the coming weeks and months. There is some support out there for those who may struggle over the coming months, whether through charities, UK or Scottish Government-funded assistance or through energy suppliers themselves. I will continue pushing for reform from the UK Government, while in the meantime ensuring that as many people as possible have access to the information and support they might need to help navigate the coming winter’s energy bills.”