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Angus MacNeil in row with energy regulator over DIY free electricity claim

Angus MacNeil said people should not be left without electricity.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil sparked a row with energy regulator Ofgem after claiming customers should use fuse boxes to get power for free.

The politician offered the suggestion to homeowners in rural Scottish communities unable to get electricity meters installed.

It’s understood some firms are wary to take on new customers while energy bills soar due to the cost of living crisis.

Mr MacNeil indicated power companies would be backed into a corner if customers tried to find alternative supplies instead.

If customers can’t be given electricity meters, they should not be left without electricity.

– MP Angus MacNeil

The regulator warned householders this would be “energy theft” and said it breaks the law.

In a statement, Ofgem said: “Protecting consumers is our top priority and under no circumstances should consumers attempt to connect electricity meters themselves.

‘This is dangerous’

“This is dangerous, is considered energy theft, and is against the law. We would urge any consumer who is worried about their electricity connection to contact local suppliers, as suppliers are obligated under our robust rules to connect a home following a consumer request.

“We will be meeting with MPs shortly to address this issue.”

The Western Isles MP later wrote on social media: “If customers can’t be given electricity meters, they should not be left without electricity!”

In a BBC report, some rural residents warned they had been delayed from moving into their newly built homes due to the crisis.

Energy bills are set to rise across Scotland later this year.

Energy bills are forecast to rise further later this year and rural communities already suffer from high levels of fuel poverty.

Mr MacNeil has regularly warned the UK Government is not doing enough to tackle the escalating cost of living emergency.

He said: “As the Tories continue with infighting, people are struggling to make ends meet.”

Earlier this week we revealed residents in Tayside were being charged more for electricity than the rest of the UK.

SNP MP Drew Hendry branded this a “disgrace” and warned it must be rectified.

EXCLUSIVE: Tayside consumers have been overcharged for electricity for years

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