Energy companies must pass on savings to their customers after wholesale electricity prices were dramatically reduced in the last year, a local TD has said. Deputy Emer Higgins, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid West, said the latest figures from the CSO show wholesale electricity prices decreased by over 40% in the 12 months to April 2023, and by 13.5% when April and March 2023 are compared.
Deputy Higgins said: “This is a substantial saving and must be passed on to customers. “Energy companies were quick to increase prices when their own costs increased, but we are not seeing the same urgency in passing on savings to customers as energy prices come down. “As we can see from today’s figures, wholesale prices have been dropping for a while – yet nothing has been done to date by those companies making the profits.
“As we move into the warmer months, customers are starting to see smaller bills thanks to less usage, but that shouldn’t be a smokescreen for energy companies to hide behind with continued overcharging.” Deputy Higgins continued: “The Government has taken several steps to help ease the burden of spiralling electricity prices on hard-pressed households. “Energy credits of €600 have been made available to every household to help them with their electricity bills and we have reduced VAT on electricity and gas to 9% – their lowest rate ever.
“We’ve taken a special dividend from ESB that we can use to help homes and businesses over the time ahead. “Recently, Cabinet approved the extension of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme for small businesses until the end of July. “And a windfall tax is being imposed on the profits of the energy companies. We published legislation in March, which we referred to the relevant Oireachtas joint committee and I hope we will pass it before the summer recess.
“We will say to these companies, in a very practical way, that if they are going to continue to profiteer on the back of Irish people, then we are going to tax them for it. “Wholesale savings must be passed on to customers without delay,” Deputy Higgins concluded.