Local News for Thursday 7th February 2019

UTILITA APPOINTED AS HEBRIDES ENERGY NEW PARTNER

Partners in the Hebrides Energy Company are keen to ensure that local customers are on the best possible deal for them following the transfer of Our Power customers, including those who had signed up to Hebrides Energy tariffs, to Utilita as of 31st January.
Hebrides Energy partners have been in contact with Utilita seeking a continuation of the competitive tariffs Our Power had offered. However, given the rise in electricity prices, it is probable that customers will be placed on a tariff that is more expensive than what had been available through Our Power. Over the next few days, customers should receive a welcome pack from Utilita confirming what tariff they have been placed on. It would be advisable to review if that is the best possible deal for you as a household, as switching to an alternative provider may be a good option.
For customers on standard meters, you can look at what is available on the market at the moment via the Tighean Innse Gall’s Switch platform https://switch.tighean.co.uk/
Customers on Total Heat Total Control should compare the Utilita tariff with what is currently available from SSE. These do not appear on any switching sites but will be featured on the SSE website or by calling them directly.
If you need further assistance and advice on switching your energy supplier, you can contact Tighean Innse Gall on 01851 706121 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ofgem have published information for Our Power customers on their transfer to Utilita which should answer the majority of queries and this is on the Ofgem website. Any queries regarding individual accounts should be directed directly to Utilita, using the account number detailed on the Welcome Pack.
HHP will also be contacting tenants who were signed up to Our Power from the start of their tenancy once more information becomes available.


CONSULTATION ON ANIMAL CRUELTY SENTENCING

The Scottish Government is seeking views from Western Isles residents on proposals to strengthen enforcement powers for animal welfare offences.
Proposed amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 would increase the maximum penalty for the most serious cruelty offences from 12 months to five years imprisonment, and a potential unlimited fine.
These new tougher penalties could also apply to attacks against service animals. The changes would also allow quicker rehoming of animals removed by animal welfare inspectors.
It is also proposed to enable enforcement authorities to issue fixed penalty notices.
Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said:
‘Animal welfare is a subject that I feel very passionately about so I’m delighted to be launching this consultation
‘We want to have the highest standards of welfare for our animals, but before we introduce new legislation, it’s vital that we know what relevant stakeholders - particularly those with practical experience of animal cruelty issues’. The consultation page can be found online at
https://consult.gov.scot/animal-welfare/animal-health-welfare-act-amendment-2019/
The consultation period Closes on 26th April 2019.