An MS has taken aim at the sky high energy standing charges that residents in North Wales are being forced to pay.
Llyr Gruffydd, who represents the region in the Senedd, pointed to the “grave unfairness” being imposed by energy firms which means his constituents are paying some of the highest standing charges in the UK.
Speaking in the Senedd, the Plaid Cymru politician pointed to a home in north Wales, on average, pays £82 more per annum in standing charges, compared to similar homes in London.
Mr Gruffydd challenged the Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt MS about what the Welsh Government is doing to “put an end to this injustice” and to support people with the cost of energy as the weather gets colder.
Llyr Gruffydd MS said: “There is grave unfairness in the fact that a home in north Wales, on average, pays £82 more per annum in standing charges, compared to similar homes in London.
“That’s entirely unacceptable, not only because it punishes people who are on low incomes, but it also punishes people who are trying to reduce and cut back on their use of energy.
“But it’s also unfair because we produce so much energy in north Wales, we actually export energy.
“There are people in the UK using energy produced in north Wales and we are paying higher standing charges for using the energy that we produce ourselves.
“Can I ask you what discussions you’ve had as a Government with the UK Government, Ofgem and the energy companies to put an end to this injustice?
“And as the weather gets colder over the next few weeks, what are you doing to support people as they have to now turn the heating up and face the implications of that in terms of costs?”
Jane Hutt MS replied that she had met with Ofgem and energy suppliers, adding that the Fuel Bank Foundation partnership is “crucial” for supporting people with energy costs, and that there is an advice service for helping people get the benefits they are entitled to.