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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 hit.


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.”

►  Stornoway gas customers “overcharged” by £1 million a year

Derek McPherson

Scottish Gas looking into 30% overcharging claims

20 March 2017