Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Energy, Michael Moynihan TD, says the announcement that Bord Gáis has been granted a 8.5% price hike calls into question the performance of the energy regulator and Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
Bord Gáis energy applied to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) for a 7.54% rise in its residential gas tariffs from October but it was announced today that a hike of almost 1% extra has been granted.
Deputy Moynihan commented: “The announcement today that Bord Gáis has been granted a price hike of almost 1% over what they asked for raises serious questions about the performance of the energy regulator.
“Over the past 12 months, Bord Gáis has been able to increase its gas prices by a whopping 30%.
“The latest hike amounts to an average increase of €62 to a household’s annual gas bill. In 12 months the average gas bill for a household has gone up from €700 to €1,000, which is a rise of almost 43%.
“The role of the regulator must be to protect the interest of consumers and act as a break on the price hiking instincts of the utility company. Incredibly in this case, the state regulator has not only acceded to the utility’s request but gone above and beyond the price increase sought.
“This raises serious marks about what interaction there has been between the Department and CER.
“If we have learned nothing else in this country over the last 5 years, surely we have learned that standing back and taking no interest in the operation and performance of Government appointed regulators is not good policy.
“What communication did Minister Rabbitte have with the CER before this determination and what communication does he plan to have now?