Households in Edinburgh are paying the lowest electricity bills in Scotland, a new survey has revealed.
Consumers in the Capital might be facing average annual bills of just over £1000 – but that is £100 a year less than the national average and £300 less than in the worst-hit rural communities.
The relative affluence of the city, where more people can afford to double glaze and insulate their homes, and the high number of smaller flats which are generally cheaper to heat than houses are among the factors keeping bills down in the Capital. Energy costs in East Lothian and Midlothian are also among the lowest in the country, with those in West Lothian just below the national average.
Households in Edinburgh pay an average of £1065 a year, according to the survey data, collected from the 13,000-plus members of the Big Energy Switch campaign. It paints a grim picture of energy affordability in rural council areas, with Argyll and Bute toppping the highest payers league, closely followed by East Dunbartonshire and the Highlands.
Residents in the Capital are still struggling to meet sky high energy bills, according to a Scottish Greens spokesman.
“Although Edinburgh appears to have lower energy bills than other areas, it must be remembered that around a quarter of households in the city are in fuel poverty,” he said.
“Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian region, last year secured agreement from Finance Secretary John Swinney that energy-efficient homes should be a national infrastructure priority.
“Retro-fitting more housing stock in Edinburgh would reduce household bills and create more local jobs. We intend to keep challenging the Scottish Government to deliver on this important issue.”
Big Energy Switch was launched as a people-power campaign aimed at cutting the cost of electricity and gas in Scotland. It aims to use the huge buying power of 20,000 Scottish households to unlock group discounted energy in Scotland and boost competition in the energy sector.
Michael Stewart, campaign director of One Big Switch, said: “What the data clearly shows is that rural areas in Scotland have the highest bills in the country and are no doubt feeling the effects of the massive cost.
“This a chance for people in Scotland to come together and use our collective power to deliver some real cost-of-living relief.
“Consumers don’t have to sit back and simply take price rises any more – we can now use people power to take constructive action to help cut the cost of energy in Scotland.
“National group switching campaigns, like the Big Energy Switch, have worked in other countries to help fight back against the rising cost of living, and now is the time for Scottish consumers to act together to unlock group discounted energy here as well.”