Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has backed a call for the immediate reduction of power bills following the steep decline in wholesale energy prices recently.
The decline has not been passed on to either domestic consumers, businesses or public sector users such as the NHS or local authorities.
The call came in the form of a motion to the Scottish Parliament from Kenneth Gibson MSP.
"When the price for wholesale gas and electricity rises companies electricity and gas companies are waste no time in passing the increases onto consumers. However when the prices fall there is a distinct time lag in a corresponding fall.
"Wholesale prices have fallen by around 40% recently, however people throughout the Highlands and Islands are forced to pay the high tariffs of last summer. This is totally unacceptable."
"In an economic down turn and with the cold weather it is very frustrating that people are being forced to pay over the odds for their electricity and gas."
"Price cuts should be passed on in full by the power companies or the UK Government, which has reserved powers in this area, should make them”
Copy of Motion lodged by Kenneth Gibson
S3M-03157 Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP):
That the Parliament notes that the forward price of gas for delivery in winter 2009 has plummeted from 109p per therm in July to 63.6p per therm in the last days of 2008, a decline of almost 42%; further notes that the forward price of electricity fell from £94.50 per MWhour to £56.65 over the same period, a decrease of over 40%; is concerned that power companies that were so keen to raise prices rapidly and in full during 2008 are much more reluctant to pass on full price cuts quickly, with consumers expected to wait until February or March for probable price cuts of only 5% or 10%, with 20% cuts at best; acknowledges that the wholesale cost of gas and electricity represents about two-thirds of the total cost of supply borne by energy providers, and believes therefore that hard-pressed energy consumers, both domestic and business, should receive full price cuts and swiftly or that energy providers should be compelled by the UK Government to make the cuts.