Sinn Féin spokesperson for Climate Action and the Environment, Darren O’Rourke TD, has criticised the government for failing to manage Ireland’s energy system effectively. He highlighted the fact that despite some recently announced price decreases, Irish customers continue to pay a premium when compared to other EU states.
Commenting on today’s news that Bord Gáis Energy will cut gas and electricity prices from February 29th, the Meath East TD said:
“Today, Bord Gáis Energy announced that it is cutting its unit rate of electricity by 10 percent and its gas by 9.5 percent. Importantly, its standing charge will also decrease by 8 percent. This will save the average household around €190 a year on electricity and €141 on gas.
“The news comes hot on the heels of a price cut by Electric Ireland on Monday. It is essential that these cuts are now followed by all suppliers, as clearly there is ample scope within the energy market to do so.
“However, it is important to put things into perspective. While these recent price decreases are welcome, the reality is that customers remain squeezed. Yes prices are falling, but they are falling from extortionate levels.
“We cannot ignore the fact that even after the reduction, Bord Gáis Energy’s electricity prices will remain around 90 percent above where they were in 2020, and gas prices are around double previous levels.
“Ordinary workers and families continue to struggle under the weight of these sky high costs. The level of arrears continues to grow and energy poverty remains high. Heating our homes will remain exorbitantly expensive this winter, particularly as the reduction will not come into effect until it is over.
“The stark reality is that the price of gas and electricity here remains sky high. In fact, Irish energy prices are some of the highest in the EU. The reasons for this cannot be attributed to external shocks alone. There are systemic problems in our energy system and successive governments have failed to address them. They have failed to manage our energy system properly. This is not good enough.
“Sinn Féin has set out a suite of proposals to maximise State and community-owned renewables, reduce energy bills and to reform planning and energy regulation here. The government needs to act and to get to grips with this situation once and for all.”