SNP MSP Kate Forbes has called for an end to the “Highland energy rip off” amid claims customers in the regions face higher fuel bills

Bill payers in the area face a 2p electricity surcharge which leaves them with higher bills, Forbes said.

Forbes said the Highlands faces some of the highest rates of fuel poverty in the country.

More than half of all rural and remote households live in fuel poverty, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said.

Forbes said it was unfair that consumers in the Highlands face bigger bills despite the region being a key generator of renewable energy.

She said: “Highland Scotland is energy-rich, with huge potential as a green energy powerhouse.

“The SNP’s commitment to establishing a publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company will ensure that the public greater choice and the option of a supplier whose only job is to secure the lowest price for consumers.

“But residents in the Highlands face a completely unfair surcharge on their bills, despite the region facing amongst the highest rates of fuel poverty and often being most exposed to extreme weather.

“If Theresa May is serious about tackling high electricity bills, it’s time for her to end the Highland energy rip-off and tackle this surcharge as part of her price cap.”

However, a spokesman from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) spokesperson said it backed moves by energy regulator Ofgem to introduce "tougher price controls".