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Electric Ireland Calls A Halt To ‘Hello Again World’.

The Chief Medical Officer has urged, older people in particular, to reconnect with the rest of the world, some three years on from the first case of Covid-19 having been confirmed in Ireland.
In an open letter addressed to older people in Ireland, as part of a multimedia campaign ‘Hello Again World’, Professor Breda Smyth addresses the isolation and loneliness experienced by older people during the pandemic, saying: “If you haven’t yet returned to doing the things that you love, I am encouraging you to do so now.”

By this latter remark, we must assume that Professor Smyth would like older people to get out, buy a coffee; buy a lunch; visit the cinema; go to a show; attend a football or hurling game, buy a pint in their local licenced hostelry, etc.

No doubt Professor Smyth is correct, however obviously, this very capable lady has not seen her ESB bill so far this month.

The ‘Electric Ireland’ bill shown above was forwarded to us by a 76 year old male pensioner and same should help to explain our headline above.

But first, who is ‘Electric Ireland’?
Electric Ireland is the retail division of ESB (Electricity Supply Board). ESB was established in 1927 as a statutory corporation in the Republic of Ireland and the majority of shares are held by the Irish Government.
Previously known as ESB Customer Supply and ESB Independent Energy, the retail division of ESB has been rebranded to Electric Ireland in 2012. Recognised as Ireland’s leading energy provider, Electric Ireland supplies electricity, gas and energy services to over 1.2 million households and 95,000 businesses in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

IrelandNo Country for Old Men or Women

From the 76 year old male pensioner, who wishes to remain anonymous, so we will call him Pat; we glean from him in a one-to-one discussion the following information:-
Pat lives alone in a small terraced house having worked, nonstop, all his working life since 1967.
His current income is a weekly pension of €260.10, per week, [1,040.40 per month or €13,525.20 per year].
He pays local property tax at the lower rate of €90.
He is a car owner, 08 reg, Insurance €420, Road Tax €280. He spends €20 on petrol each week to attend Mass, Shop for groceries, and for attending at a medical clinic. One car service and 4 new tyres, this year cost him €798. Seperately a set of windscreen wipers fitted cost €38.
He has no electric cooker and no electric shower. He cooks his main meal on a gas cooker which costs €540 per year.
He owns one electric heater but has not used same since electricity prices increased.
His heating outside his living room is a Superser Radiant Gas Heater, purchased at a cost of €160, [Used sparingly to heat his bedroom, the renewal of this second gas cylinder costs also €35 per month or €420 per year.
He claims no fuel allowance from the state, since he gets a gift of timber for his living room fire from a farming neighbours.
He no longer eats breakfast, eating only two meals each day; a toasted sandwich for lunch using a electric sandwich maker, or an omelette using an electric omelette maker.
His heating outside his living room is a Superser Radiant Gas Heater, purchased at a cost of €160, [Used sparingly to heat his bedroom, the renewal of his gas cylinder costs €35 per month or €420 per year.
Internet and Mobile Phone costs €40 per month.
He was forced to replace his television in the last year and his washing machine, due to their age, at a total cost of €790.
His groceries, including meat, averages around €100 per week.
Non prescription creams costs him €26 per month.
He attended two family weddings last year, on which he spent €390 to buy footwear and clothing and €300 on wedding gifts.
A daily copy of a cheap newspaper cost him €547.50.
Last Summer Pat was forced to paint the outer walls of his home. Paint and labour cost €480.
Christmas gifts to family and close friends cost €208, mostly spent on confectionary items on adults friends and cheap toys for grandchildren.

Pat admits that his current savings amount to €129.22.
His next Electric Ireland Bill is €959.72, less Electric Ireland Credit of €45.87 and less Government Electricity credit 2 of €183.49; thus leaving the total amount due on an estimated bill at €717.84 due to be paid by March 9th 2023.

We totted up Pat’s expenses, revealing annual expenditure of €12,880.50 and savings of €129.22. We asked what he had spent the odd remaining €516 on.

His reply was that €365 went on the collection plate at Mass on a Saturday night and the remainder was possibly given away on donations in lieu of flowers at a few friends funerals, in support of various charities; “Oh and I bought a 3 pack of electric bayonet led light bulbs in Dunnes Stores, last Monday; they cost €9 something”, he quickly interjected.

“So how do you intend to pay your next ESB bill?” we asked.
“I can’t, so they will possibly cut me off,” came the reply, “but candles are cheap, the Summer is coming and as long as I can afford batteries for my radio I’ll survive. As the film title said ‘This is no country for old men’ or indeed old women for that matter”, he added, “and the next General Election, will be held, at the very latest, by March 2025, if not before, by the will of the people, and if I live until then, please God, me and my likes can make a few changes with regards those who currently rule over us; holding the Irish public to ransome simply because they can.”

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