The Commission for Energy Regulation has proposed an increase of 40% in the Public Servive Obligation charge in domestic energy bills with businesses facing a 12% increase. This increase is totally unacceptable and unfair amd we must have an immediate and informed debate in this country about alternative energy sources and how much they are costing.
At the moment every domestic customer pays a PSO levy of 5.90 Euro per month on their energy bill to support alternative and renewable energy sources and the proposal is to raise that figure to 8.27 Euro per month which is a 40% increase. The proposals also include a 12% rise in the charge to business users. Over 392 million Euro was collected in PSO levies in 2016/2017 and the new proposals will mean that almsot 500 million Euro will be collected in 2017/2018. It is proposed that of that funding almost 300 million Euro would be spent subsidising the wind energy sector alone which is a massive figure, and we have to have a debate here in this country about whether it is viable to continue to support any industry which cannot stand on it’s own two feet.
We here in Ireland are in competition for Foreign Direct Investment, but how can we expect to attract jobs if our energy costs are not competitive because of these levies? Do we want our people to be unemployed so as we can support an energy sector that is not viable financially? What is going on in the EU and in this country in this sector is totally unacceptable, with some people making millions out of these industries which are being propped up by the general public and smal businessses. It has to stop.
I am fully supportive of alternative energy sources as long as they are financially viable. It is the ordinary people and small businesses that are paying once again, and for people who are having difficulty making ends meet as it is, these increases are not justifiable while it is a huge additional burden on businesses. I am calling for a debate on this important matter as soon as possible.

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