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Jennifer Whitmore TD

Energy companies should no longer be allowed to ride roughshod over their customers while generating huge profits

Households will only see a derisory reduction in their energy bills from November, despite a significant drop in wholesale electricity prices over the past year, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on energy, said:

“Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today show that wholesale electricity prices were 72.5 per cent lower in August 2023 than for the same month last year. Despite this, customers can only expect to get reductions somewhere between 10 and 20 per cent from November 1.

“This week, the Central Bank stated that Irish prices are out of line because energy companies are failing to transfer reductions to customers. I welcome that hedging practices are to be notified to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) under new windfall tax legislation. However, this should not just be in place as an emergency measure, but as a standard, permanent power given to the CRU.

“It is also disappointing that the delayed Bill on windfall tax only covers the six-month period between last December and June of this year, which is far too short. This does not reflect the fact that energy companies have been hiking up their prices since September 2021, six months before the conflict in Ukraine began.

“I have stressed to the Minister the need for this Bill to include full transparency on the profits being made by energy companies. Customers who have struggled with rising energy costs over the past two years deserve that such information be publicly available.

“The lag between wholesale electricity prices coming down and paltry reductions being passed on to domestic consumers is inexcusable. Energy companies should no longer be allowed to ride roughshod over their customers while continuing to generate eyewatering levels of profit.”

September 22, 2023

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