Government Directive Drives Up Cost Of ESB Again

Households in Tipperary and nationally will soon be paying more than €500 a year in ‘Green Taxes’, and in a double blow, households who are already facing a 5% hike in electricity charges, due to an environmental levy, could soon be hit by a second price rise as early as September next.

These revelations come as hard-pressed families face a series of future Green Taxes on top of those already introduced by the present Coalition Government and despite the ESB recording profits of some €580million last year.

North Tipperary Deputy Noel Coonan has sharply criticised the recently announced 5% hike in electricity costs as “Another assault on the most hard-pressed in North Tipperary and nationwide“.

The local Fine Gael TD empathised with numerous lobby groups who have strongly voiced their resistance to this hike and to the news that Energy Minister Eamon Ryan is to review electricity prices in September on top of October’s review.

Deputy Coonan said:

On the ground in North Tipperary, this environmental levy means domestic users will pay a flat fee of €32.76 and small businesses will pay €99. Larger businesses will face a 5% rise on overall usage. The levy, known as a Public Servant Obligation (PSO) will be introduced in October. The flat fee will severely impact on elderly people who depend on their electric heater to keep them warm during the winter.Businesses are already struggling to stay open, farmers incomes continue to fall and hard-pressed families are continuously hit with a fall in take-home pay and social protection assistance. We already have the third highest electricity prices in the Eurozone and I don’t know how this Government, and those who support it in North Tipperary, can justify the latest hike. The Government has lost touch with people on the ground and this is clear in their failure to alert the public that there would be a 5% increase.”

Electricity bills also face a double whammy as a separate price review is due in September on top of the €156 million levy due to be imposed in October to subsidise peat and renewable energy generators. These measures come on top of carbon taxes on petrol, diesel and home heating oil.

Deputy Coonan has called on the Government to postpone this increase as a matter of urgency, pending a full review of the levy. Numerous businesses have warned the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) that further job losses will be imminent in the wake of any such levy being implemented.

However, a Commission for Energy Regulation spokesperson has said that it was obliged by legislation to introduce the PSO levy regardless of warnings about job losses, but that if the Government ask them to change the directive, then they will change it.

It is expected the PSO levy will raise about €160m a year and will be used by power firms to buy renewable energy.

“It is now solely within the remit of the present Government to give tax payers a break and postpone this latest measure which will contribute to a long, cold winter for North Tipperary people,” stated the Deputy


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