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SNP vows to scrap energy subsidies

An independent Scotland would scrap energy subsidies, relying on general taxation to cover the renewable market costs, the SNP has said

Nicola Sturgeon says the SNP would cut gas and electricity bills by £70 per year

The party has become the latest critic of energy subsidies paid to firms in order to incentivise investment in the UK market.

The comments follow statements issued by both the Labour party and SSE, which blamed the levies for the fact energy bills continue to rise.

Customers would pay £70 less per year

The SNP deputy leader and deputy first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said last week that should the party be elected it would look to shift the cost of energy efficient schemes and incentives from energy bills to the general cost of taxation.

Speaking late last week at the party’s conference in Perth, Sturgeon said the SNP strategy would cut energy bills by a full 5%, meaning customers would pay £70 per year less on average.

She added that the Scottish government would keep the Energy Company Obligation energy efficiency scheme and Warm Homes Discount fund, both of which are designed to help get customers out of fuel poverty.

Current scheme is a ‘disjointed approach’

Sturgeon went on to criticise the current schemes in place as ‘disjointed’, saying that the current government provides more than half of energy efficiency schemes, but these are damaging to consumers.

“Right now, the Scottish Government invests around £80m a year on energy efficiency schemes while a further £120m comes from a scheme designed in Westminster, operated through energy companies and paid for by a levy on people’s gas and electricity bills,” she said.

She added that these schemes do not take into account the priorities of Scotland and do not help tackle the affordability issues that are present throughout the country.

“In an independent Scotland we will be able to tackle fuel poverty much more directly and ensure that energy companies always behave in a socially responsible way to protect vulnerable customers. An SNP government in an independent Scotland will remove the cost of energy saving measures and the warm home discount from energy bills. We will provide that funding from central government resources,” Sturgeon concluded.

The news will come as a potential boost for Scottish homeowners at a time when bills are still rising. Today, npower followed the example set by SSE and British Gas by raising its prices this winter, a move which was partially blamed on energy subsidies.

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