By DARA BUTTERFIELD
Western Isles Council has appointed consultants MAR (Scotland) Ltd to help set up the Outer Hebrides Energy Supply Company.
The project is designed to help lower energy costs in the Outer Hebrides, where households experience the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK.
The Outer Hebrides Energy Supply Company is to be established as a standalone entity over the next couple of months.
Along with this, the council and its partners will shortly be asking for proposals from licensed UK electricity suppliers to partner with the Energy Supply Company to offer a community tariff to residents in the Outer Hebrides, offering competitive electricity prices to island consumers.
Angus Campbell, Leader of Western Isles Council (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar) said: “Initial market testing indicates that there is interest from certain suppliers in working with us to develop a product that can be offered specifically to Hebridean consumers, and we are looking forward to working in more detail on this over coming months to see if a package can be put together.”
In the longer term it is envisaged that the energy supply company could emerge as a licensed supplier in its own right, particularly should opportunities emerge to invest in and access local renewable generation, either from the commercial or community sectors.
The development of the Outer Hebrides Energy Supply Company has received funding through the Scottish Government’s CARES Infrastructure and Innovation fund.