Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment and Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called on the Government to urgently address the disorder in the energy market and to introduce measures to protect ordinary workers and families from free-reining energy companies.
The Meath East TD said:
“In yet another blow to households, today we’ve heard that around 11,000 Electric Ireland customers are facing massive bill shocks due to the fact that the energy provider failed to request payment for months.
“Significantly, these bills cover periods when electricity and gas usage is usually at its peak. There is a very real risk that this cock-up could place many people into terrifying and desperate situations.
“We also learned that Bord Gáis Energy wrongly took payments twice from 11,500 of its customers yesterday.
“If that wasn’t bad enough, we know that energy prices remain sky high and yet we’ve seen massive falls in wholesale energy prices.
“There have been zero efforts to pass this on to the consumer. Minister Eamon Ryan and this Government act as commentators.
“All of this comes at a time when energy companies are making supernormal profits.
“These energy companies seemingly operate in a land of lawlessness when the rest of us are subject to a raging cost of living crisis and massive inflation. The CRU lacks the regulatory mandate and power to deal with this situation.
“Sinn Féin has called on the government many times to address this but they continue to fail to move on the issue – they are complicit in creating a situation in which energy companies have free rein to act as they choose.
“The energy market is not fit for purpose – there is no sense of legitimacy or fairness there. Ordinary people are suffering at the hands of unscrupulous, greedy and seemingly untouchable energy companies.
“Even the Government’s windfall tax is pathetic. It goes nowhere near far enough. Importantly, the measure does not touch those periods when super-normal profits were at their peak and estimated revenue has been revised down 10 fold since it was first announced.
“Sinn Féin has called on the Government to follow the example of other EU member states and to introduce taxation measures to address these massive imbalances.
“The Government needs to get a grip on this situation and do so now. This chaos has to stop. People cannot take any more.”