Independent TD Carol Nolan has called on Minister Eamon Ryan, to investigate why the nation is facing the into the prospect of looming energy blackouts despite €3 billion having been generated over the last decade from the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy which is charged to all electricity customers in Ireland.
The levy is added to the cost of electricity for customers throughout the country,
The Laois Offaly TD was speaking after the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) confirmed to her that the PSO levy raised €393 million from the public’s electricity bills from 1 October – 30 September 2020-2021.
This represented an increase of €217 million for the same period in 2019-2020 when €176m was raised.
The PSO (Public Service Obligation) levy which is mandated by the Irish Government and approved by the European Commission has the purpose of supporting the generation of electricity from sustainable, renewable and indigenous sources.
It is calculated and certified annually by the CRU and all energy suppliers are required to collect this levy from customers through bills:
“Serious questions now have to be asked about the effective use of the PSO levy, particularly as we face into a winter of threatened blackouts and severely reduced energy availability,” said Deputy Nolan.
“Where on earth did that €3 billion generated since 2011 go?” she asked.
“What has it actually done to support the provision of stable sources of energy and power that is capable of keeping the lights and the heating going in people’s homes? Not a lot seems to be the answer.”
“As I understand it the new PSO levy equates to €51.60 excl. VAT (12 x €4.30) or €58.57 per year inclusive of VAT for every single home in the country.”
“Yet at the same time, those households which are yielding hundreds of million in levied tax remain under the threat of having no lights or heating. This is simply disgraceful.”
“What is even more alarming is that there are now clear signs that the CRU will set the levy an even higher rate for the years ahead. And all for what? To ‘support’ the generation of renewable electricity that is already demonstrating a lack of capacity to provide energy security?” concluded Deputy Nolan.