May 23, 2024
Sinn Féin introduce legislation to rein in energy companies and rip-off energy prices – Darren O’Rourke TD and Rose Conway-Walsh TD

Sinn Féin have today introduced legislation in the Dáil to empower the energy regulator to hold companies to account and to tackle rip-off energy prices.

Sinn Fein spokesperson for Climate Action and the Environment, Darren O’Rourke TD, said:

“The Electricity Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2024 reinforces Sinn Féin’s commitment to reform the energy market in ways that benefit workers, families and small businesses.

“Years of chaos in the energy market has shown us how ill-equipped the regulator is to protect customers.

“Despite the rising pressure people are facing, the government is content to carry on with business as usual.

“Our legislation enhances the powers of the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

“Included in its provisions are additional powers to oversee hedging practices, to monitor anti-competitive behaviour and energy affordability, and to increase transparency and reporting.  Together, these provisions will contribute to significantly enhance consumer protections.

“Hedging practices were routinely blamed for delays in passing on wholesale price reductions to consumers, yet the CRU currently has absolutely zero oversight over these practices.

“Evidently, the government is content to take for granted that energy companies are not taking advantage.

“This is an important piece of legislation that will stand up for people and better protect them against higher prices.

“While the government and the regulator act as mere commentators, Sinn Féin is ready to tackle this issue head on.”

Teachta Conway-Walsh, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform, said:

“Our legislation ensures that the regulator has the teeth to rein in energy companies. It also enhances transparency and accountability bringing Ireland in line with European counterparts.

“This legislation also addresses another important gap when it comes to consumer protection. The Bill mandates the CRU to consider energy affordability.

“Significantly, the Bill also obligates the CRU to consider consumer interests in all regulatory decisions made.

“The government cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the disorder and disarray in the Irish energy market. Winter is fast approaching – workers and families cannot face another one fraught with uncertainty and the risk of rip-off energy bills. 

“Sinn Féin has solutions for a fairer and more transparent energy market. We are urging the government to implement these changes. People deserve nothing less.” 

The legislation can be read here.

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