Date: 27 June 2007
Energy regulator poised to discriminate against Scotland's generating
UNISON, the largest energy trade union in Scotland, today reacted
angrily to an announcement from energy regulator Ofgem that it is
thinking of approving its own proposals to introduce transmission
loss charges that would discriminate against energy generation in
UNISON Scottish Organiser Dave Watson said: "This is not the first
time that Ofgem have promoted this policy. It has previously been
rejected and is now being revisited under the guise of environmental
benefit, but really it is simply a smokescreen for the same market
fundamentalism that drives so many of Ofgem's misguided policies
in the energy industry."
The plans seek to alter the rules so that the costs of transmission
losses would be allocated where the loss occurred, unlike the current
system where costs are allocated irrespective of where electricity
enters and leaves the network (the 'postage stamp' principle).
UNISONScotland strongly believes that existing rules should be
maintained and the cost of transmission losses should continue to
be recovered from generators and suppliers on a uniform basis. A
move away from the 'postage stamp' principle would mean discriminatory
charges against generators further away from the main centres of
It seeks to encourage generating capacity close to urban centres
that may not be best suited to take advantage of renewable and other
new generating technologies.
Dave Watson said "In particular this would have a significant
impact on the developing generation industry in the north of Scotland,
although in general it would discriminate against Scotland and the
north of England. There is strong cross-party support in Scotland
for the 'postage stamp' principle, from both Scottish Labour and
the Scottish National Party."
UNISON can see no new grounds for revisiting the issue of zonal
transmission loss at this stage. The current system has served the
industry and the UK well over many years and Ofgem has even failed
to properly consider the case for the status quo.
For Further Information Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish
Organiser) 0845 355 0845 (w) 07958 122 409 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)