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Rural Independent TDs move key Dail motion to reduce electricity prices

A motion to force the government to end the unconscionable practice of protecting the super profits of wind energy companies and reducing the cost of electricity for ordinary people will be tabled in Dail Éireann tomorrow morning by the Rural Independent Group of TDs.

Speaking from Leinster today, ahead of the debate on the motion tomorrow morning, the leader of the Rural Independents, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath, stated:

“Electricity credits, while welcome, in reality, merely serve to increase the profits of energy companies (as they retain the money), driving costs higher and doing nothing to tackle the existing underlying problems.”

“Every time we challenged the government on their failure, the EU was used as a scapegoat. Truthfully, those excuses were nothing more than a camouflage for the government to allow wind energy-producing companies in Ireland to make super profits.”

“Our motion aims to implement EU Council Regulation 2022/1854, which came into effect on October 8th, and forces all member states to implement numerous measures to protect consumers, notably by capping the profits of wind energy producers and reducing consumption by sectors, such as data centres.”

“Our motion, if accepted by the government, would do the following:

  1. Reduce electricity consumption by power-hungry data centres, which now consume more electricity (14 percent of the national usage) than all rural homes;
  2. Introduce a rigid cap on market revenues that wind farm energy producers here receive from the generation of electricity and redistribute those funds to final customers in a targeted manner; and,
  3. 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.”

“In Ireland, Neoen, Amazon, ESB, Energia, SSE Airtricity, Greencoat capital, Strakraff, Bord Gais and Bord na Mona among others, have been allowed to make enormous profits as electricity prices soar for ordinary user,” he said.

“Windfarms were paid an average of €330.23 a megawatt hour (MW/h) for electricity over the last 12 months. This is over six times the €53.66 MW/h that the CRU predicted, because of the price being linked to the wholesale price of gas.”

“Certainly, we need as much renewable power as we can get, but we also should be able to benefit from its cheapness. Currently, Irish people are not gaining, while wind power producers make over 600% of their predicted earnings on 96% of the wind produced here.”

“Why would any government policy put the needs of energy-producing corporations above everything and everyone else? Are they captured by these companies? Do they want to allow renewable producers to rip off the public? Irrespective of the answers, our motion aims to change the approach and prioritise the peoples’ interests.”

“Sky-high energy bills and government radio ads telling us to be cold in our homes at certain times of day, while allowing massive energy-guzzling data centres to expand without question, illustrates that the public is being played for fools.”

“That is why we implore every TD to think independently about this issue and vote for our motion which would, if implemented, reduce the super profits of these wind farm companies, while reducing electricity bills for every constituent,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.

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