The First Minister will convene an urgent summit with energy supply companies and consumer groups to discuss how advice and support for people struggling with energy bills can be improved.
The summit will consider what collective action can be taken by government, energy companies and the third sector to help businesses and consumers access advice, and get support with debt issues.
Scotland’s major energy suppliers including Scottish Power, OVO Energy, Centrica, Octopus and E.ON, as well as industry bodies and key consumer and poverty organisations will attend.
The summit follows last week’s meeting of the SNP Government’s Resilience Committee on the cost living crisis and will take place ahead of OfGem’s next energy price cap announcement on 26 August.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“While the SNP Government continues to do all it can, its powers are limited. Only the UK Tory Government has all the powers it takes to tackle this emergency on the scale required - access to borrowing, welfare, VAT on fuel, taxation of windfall profits, regulation of the energy market.
“However, the First Minister is stepping up in chairing weekly Resilience Committee meetings and now by getting the big energy providers around the table.”
“The SNP Government has also allocated almost £3 billion in this financial year that will help households face the increased cost of living.”
Frazer Scott, CEO of Energy Action Scotland said:
“With our colleagues at the Poverty Alliance, we welcome the First Minister’s intervention in gathering energy companies together to talk about how we can best support households struggling to afford spiralling energy bills.
“Fuel poverty will affect over one million Scottish households this winter requiring urgent intervention focussed on targeting those most in need.
“Cold, damp homes affect health and wellbeing and will put thousands of lives at risk as well as adding additional pressure to the NHS, making this a vital intervention for Scotland.”
The SNP Government estimates that 906,000 or 36% of all households will be in fuel poverty in October 2022, based on an Ofgem price cap of £2,800 and taking into account previously announced government mitigations.