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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-05417: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 8 December 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the finding in the Scottish Consumer Insight Report 2016 from Which? that 21% of consumers do not take action with their energy provider when they experience problems.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 21 December 2016

The Scottish Government are fully supportive of energy market reforms that will promote a market that works equally well for all Scottish energy consumers regardless of geographical location and meter type. We are actively encouraging suppliers to move forward with implementation and will monitor the impact within the Scottish context. This was discussed at the Scottish Government's Energy Summit held on 14 December in Edinburgh.

We published our policy statement Delivering better outcomes for consumers and businesses in Scotland on 13 December and it can be found at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/12/5688 The statement outlines a number of current and planned activities along with a set of principles which will guide our work.

The Scottish Government believe that consumers must be empowered to take action when things go wrong and that is why we are committed to using new powers on consumer advocacy and advice to ensure the interests of Scotland’s consumers are protected, including in the energy market. It is vital that we create a system of consumer protection, competition and regulation in Scotland that is fully aligned with the needs of our citizens and businesses and which improves people’s lives. Although our powers are limited, we will use these to maximum effect.