Iain Macwhirter writes there is nothing any of us can do about rising energy prices ("The rise and rise of the energy production racket", The Herald, February 21).

Danny Alexander MP has shown the way with the useful fuel rebate for the islands. He says the case for the islands was made on the significant extra costs of delivering fuel to those islands ("Island petrol discount could be extended to mainland", The Herald, February 21).

I hope this thinking will be extrapolated to do something meaningful to ameliorate the extra 16-20% transmission charges which consumers in the former Hydro Board area have to pay on their electricity bills. Ofgem has allowed SHETL (the transmission company) this extra levy on all electricity consumers north of a line from Campbeltown to Dundee.

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It is perverse that those of us who (because the climate is more rigorous), have no choice but to consume more energy just to keep warm, are subject to an extra levy.

I trust Mr Alexander and Energy Secretary Ed Davey, together with other Scottish MPs and MSPs, will take a determined look at this problem and introduce some ameliorating measure to reduce the extra charges. It would also make sense to target home insulation measures on this area.

There are things we can all do if we demand our politicians work on a solution. We may not get back to the halcyon days mentioned by Ian Thomson (Letters, February 21) but we can make progress.

R J Ardern,

26A Southside Road, Inverness.

The biggest reason for price rises is the cost of gas and coal, which are traded on an international market. The price is set by supply and demand.

In the good old days Iain Macwhirter remembers, we in the West were the primary demand. We could get cheap gas and coal as there was little competition.

The growth of The BRIC countries has altered the balance of world power, as well as energy demand, and hence energy price.

The most appealing aspects of nuclear and wind is that they decouple from this dependency.

Instead their cost depends upon the futures market in metals.

David McMillan,

Westbank Quadrant, Glasgow.