Highlands & Islands

Regulator Ofgem examining fuel costs on Western Isles

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Image caption Costs and availability of power on the Western Isles are being examined

Ofgem is investigating the cost and availability of electricity and gas in the Western Isles.

Philip Cullum from the energy regulator met with representatives from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Hebridean Housing Partnership in Stornoway.

Ofgem said it wants to understand the level of fuel poverty on the islands.

As well as having talks with council leaders, the regulator said it was doing "groundbreaking" research with consumers.

The meeting in Stornoway comes just days after the release of a study by Scotland's Rural College.

The research suggested that almost 60% of people aged over 60 and living in rural parts of Scotland were living in fuel poverty.

The figure compared with 45% of over 60s in urban areas.

According to the report, Rural Scotland in Focus 2014, the highest levels of fuel poverty were found in the Western Isles and Orkney.

The study suggested 75% and 76% of older people there were affected.

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