OFGEM and the Government should “level the playing field” to ensure households without mains gas supply do not have to pay more for their energy, an SNP MP has said.

Drew Hendry argued it was “vital” for people to be “protected from a crisis on top of a crisis, because they are caught in a specific energy price trap that is none of their making”.

The MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey warned the “grossly unfair” situation was “set to bring additional hardship and misery to people already being financially crushed by a cost-of-living crisis that has been imposed upon them”.

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He said: “The current price cap introduced by the UK Government and Ofgem is based on the assumption that households across the nations of the UK consume energy with a split of 80% gas and 20% electricity.

“However about one in six households across the nations of the UK are currently off gas grid. The result is that these households are forced to pay around four times more for their energy bills than the so-called average household.

The National:

Drew Hendry said the UK Government or Ofgem must change the current system, whih penalises thoe off-grid

“The UK Government is failing families across the nations of the UK simply because of where they live.

“What is the point in having a UK energy regulator if it’s unwilling to ensure that at the very least that people are equitably treated, whether they live in an off gas grid area or with the benefit of being on it.

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“Either Ofgem or the UK Government can make the required change. They must not be allowed to play off each other, to deflect and hide behind each other over this issue.”

He called on the UK Government to commit to an “immediate and urgent review of regulated energy prices and their component costs to level the playing field for all households”.

His Energy Pricing (Off Gas Grid Households) Bill was listed for a second reading on March 18, but is unlikely to become law due to a lack of parliamentary time.