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► Stornoway gas customers “overcharged” by £1 million a year
Scottish Gas is looking into claims it is overcharging Stornoway households up to
£1 million a year in gas bills.
The utility firm has conceded to island guest house owner, Derek McPherson, they
should have put him on a lower tariff.
If that applies across the board then some 1,100 homes and businesses have also been
The difference could run into millions of pounds over the years.
It is maintained Scottish Gas delibrately charged Stornoway families an expensive
rate as the local supply is off the UK’s main grid.
Thus islanders could not access the cheapest deals offered to mainland customers,
Mr McPherson was told.
LPG gas is shipped in by a sea tanker and stored at the gas works on Sandwick Road.
The system is operated by distributor SGN, previously known as Scotia Gas Networks.
However, SGN does not deal directly with households - the main retailer is Scottish
Gas which also sells through Sainsbury Energy.
Around 1,100 properties - all within the old boundaries of town - receive a gas supply.
Stornoway guest house operator, Derek Macpherson, says he was massively overcharged
by at least a third since 2013 as a result and has been kept on a more expensive
tariff for the last 11 years.
Even after Ofgem upheld his complaint they still refused to give him the cheap rate
provided to mainland customers.
Angus MacNeil took up his case, forcing Scottish Gas to concede they were in the
wrong and in breach of the rules.
Scottish Gas is offering to repay Mr Mcpherson £1,500 to cover the last three years
but he believes he has lost out much more than they calculate.
Mr McPherson said: “It has been a long and arduous process getting Scottish Gas to
abide by its statutory obligations.
“But we still have a bit to go.”
Mr McPherson said: “I certainly won’t be settling for anything less than the recompense
of all overpayments I have been forced to make over the years.
“I hope that every single Scottish Gas customer - domestic and business - in Stornoway
adopts a similar position.”
Angus MacNeil is pressing Scottish Gas and Ofgem to ensure all island customers are
refunded what they overpaid and are also able to access the cheapest prices.
Mr MacNeil said: “This has implications for a thousand Stornoway customers.
“Mr Macpherson has never given up the battle to get what he is entitled to and his
dedication to ensure island customers are not discriminated against is hugely admirable.”
Scottish Gas looking into 30% overcharging claims
20 March 2017