Fairness Needed for House Connection Charges, Says Allan
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has written to SSE to highlight the "unsustainable" charges some islanders are facing to connect their new build homes to the grid.
SSE's own website gives as estimated cost of £1,600 to connect a new build house in a "rural/ country" area. However, the local MSP was recently contacted by a constituent from a remote area of Lewis who has been asked to pay £21,000. The new build was around 400 yards away from the existing infrastructure.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
"There has rightly been much talk about the current populations projections for the Western Isles and what we can do to stop the projected depopulation from becoming a reality.
"We need to be encouraging more people to move here, more people to bring up their families here and, critically, more people to build houses here.
"The example of a constituent of mine being asked to pay £21,000 simply to connect their new build to the grid shows how badly we are being letting down by OFGEM and the UK Government. This is far from an isolated case and I have heard of people being asked to pay as much as £40,000 to connect a single home.
"It is simply not sustainable to have the situation we have in the islands of connecting a home costing more than median annual pay. I have written to SSE to highlight this blatant unfairness and will also be raising the issue with OFGEM."