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Dáil passes Rural Independent TDs motion clearing way for cheaper electricity prices

The Dáil has passed a motion tabled by Deputy Michael Collins and his colleagues in the  Rural Independents , that explicitly instructs the government to immediately change policy and implement regulations to cap the prices paid to wind farms operators, to provide for cheaper household electricity bills

The Rural TDs motion instructs the government to end the unconscionable practice of protecting the super profits of wind energy companies, which is driving up electricity prices for everyone.

Speaking from Leinster House today, following the Dáil’s approval of the motion, Cork South West TD, Michael Collins stated:

“The government’s energy policy is now in tatters as they have effectively admitted that their regulations are allowing multi-national energy giants to sell us wind-generated electricity at astronomical wholesale gas prices. It serves to highlight how ‘out of touch’ this government is, as their unhelpful energy policies are forcing people to run out of money.”

“So far, the government has allowed wind-farm operators such as Neoen, Amazon, ESB, Energia, SSE Airtricity, Greencoat capital, Strakraff, Bord Gais and Bord na Mona among others, to make extortionate profits, as electricity prices soar for ordinary users. The government’s REFIT scheme and energy policies are allowing wind farm corporations to have their prices fixed to the wholesale gas price. The entire situation is one massive government-created con job.”

“For instance, last week, Minister Eamon Ryan was busily tweeting the news that Ireland produced a lot of electricity from wind in October. However, what he failed to mention was that this is resulting in absolutely no savings whatsoever for consumers. In fact, under the government energy policy – the only winners here – are the massive conglomerate wind farm operators. The entire policy is insane.”

“Giving the public electricity credits, while welcome, did absolutely nothing to reduce electricity bills. In fact, these funds go directly to energy companies and are having an inflationary impact on prices.”

“Dail approval of our carefully crafted motion is very welcome. The motion instructs the government to implement EU Council Regulation 2022/1854, which incorporates numerous measures to cut electricity prices and reduce electricity consumption by power-hungry data centres, which now consume more electricity (14 percent of the national usage) than all rural homes.”

“Our proposals also instruct the government to introduce a rigid cap on the market revenues that wind farm energy producers receive, from the generation of electricity, and redistribute those funds to final customers in a targeted manner.”

“Our proposals also instructs the government to tax the super or excess profits of all energy producers, including companies and permanent establishments operating within the oil, gas, coal, and refinery sectors in Ireland, inclusive of the Corrib gas field, and return these funds to consumers,  helping them pay for energy bills. For instance, the Dutch government has already placed a 33% excess profits tax on their energy corporations, using this option.”

“A government policy position that allows almost all our windfarms (96 percent) to make staggering profits of over 600 percent of their predicted earnings over the last year, while Irish people are struggling to keep the lights on, is unconscionable. Our policy proposals, set out in the approved motion, would if implemented, immediately change all that.”

He said there was “an urgent need for the government to now act on this matter and implement our proposals, which prioritize the peoples’ interests.”

“The time for government sleep-waking and excuses around energy policy is over. There can be no more excuses. We implore to the government to listen to Dail Éireann and implement our policy proposals, in full. Doing so, will help fix the existing dysfunctional energy pricing system, end the government’s favourable treatment of speculative wind farm companies, and deliver much-needed reduced electricity bills for all users,” concluded Collins.

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