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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister Eamon Ryan meet with heads of Energy Retailers

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister Eamon Ryan meet with heads of Energy Retailers


Taoiseach & Minister Ryan Meet Energy Companies to Discuss Energy Prices

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. and the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan T.D. met with Ireland’s four largest Energy Retailers, SSE Electricity, Bord Gáis Energy, Energia and Electric Ireland this afternoon (Tuesday 12th of September), to reiterate the Government's concern at persistently high energy prices and to discuss how customers could be best supported for the coming winter.

Following on from the meeting, the Taoiseach said:

"The Government welcomes the recent announcements from energy companies to reduce their prices, which will mean lower bills for customers from October and November of this year. People are really struggling with the cost of living and energy costs are a big part of that. I met with the main energy companies this afternoon and indicated to them that they must go further in future billing cycles, subject to wholesale prices not increasing again.

"I am particularly concerned about what companies are doing to help their most vulnerable customers and received commitments from them this afternoon that they will continue to help over the winter period, through their respective hardship funds, prompt customer service and minimising disconnections outside of the moratorium period, which last year covered October through to the end of March. I understand CRU, the utilities regulator, will make a decision on this year’s moratorium period shortly.

“We also discussed the benefits of co-operation between the energy companies and Government on improving our energy efficiency, which is really important, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because retrofits, solar panels and other improvements, enhance quality of life and also reduce costs for customers over the medium to long-term.

"We have the windfall tax, which is an additional tax on the super normal profits of energy companies. This will provide several hundred million euros, which we will use to help families and businesses with their energy bills. We also took a special dividend out of the state-run companies, Bord na Móna and ESB. These monies too, will go to the Exchequer and help fund ways to take the pressure off those who are struggling. In the longer term then, the Government will continue to invest in renewables on a national scale, such as wind and solar, to reduce our reliance on polluting fossil fuels and the volatility of international markets.

"We directly helped families and businesses in a number of ways last year with the different cost of living pressures they are currently facing and will not be found wanting again this year but energy companies must play their part."

Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan T.D. said:

“We have been meeting and working with energy supply companies throughout this crisis to ensure that customers, and particularly vulnerable customers, have been supported, with the government’s energy credits firstly, but also with the range of other supports and protections that have been put in place by the energy regulator and by the companies themselves to ensure that people and families can stay warm and well. As we look to another Winter, it is important that customers, and particularly those who may be worried about bills, continue to engage with their energy companies and know that there are a range of supports available to help.”

Notes for Editors

Cost of Living

In February, the Government produced a €1.2 billion package to help families, businesses, pensioners, carers and people with disabilities;

• €600 in energy credits to all households

• A bonus Child Benefit payment of €100 per child to all parents

• €100 increase in the Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance

• Extension of the Hot School Meals programme to all DEIS primary schools from this September, benefiting an additional 60,000 children

• Lower VAT and excise rates will continue to apply on gas, electricity, petrol, diesel and marked gas oil until October;

• For businesses, we’ve made it easier to apply for TBESS for energy bills, and the level of relief has been increased to 50% of the cost of eligible energy bills;

• There will be a new grant for businesses using LPG or kerosene;

• State Examination fees were once again waived for all those sitting exams in 2023;

• Reduced charges apply to school transport of €50 per pupil at primary level, €75 per pupil at post-primary level, with a cap per family of €125;

• The temporary reductions in VAT on gas and electricity, from 13.5% to 9%, have been extended to 31 October 2023 at an estimated cost of €115 million;

• €50 million has been allocated for the introduction of free books for primary school students from Autumn 2023 which will benefit half a million children;

• We have also provided for a once-off €1,000 reduction in the undergraduate student contribution fee