Senator McGreehan continues to drive forward on a new idea to assist struggling households with energy costs
Published on: 23 September 2022
Louth Senator Erin McGreehan has been to the forefront of advocating for the Government to work to a not-for-profit company EneryCloud. Having introduced EnergyCloud into the Seanad as a commencement in February and bringing the not-for-profit organisation to present to the Houses of the Oireachtas in May.
McGreehan “stresses that we are a long way from February last and it has never become so urgent that we utilise every option to reduce the burden of energy prices on households”.
The concept of EnergyCloud is simple. It is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to create solutions and divert to Irish homes surplus renewable energy that would otherwise be wasted, with a primary focus on those households in fuel poverty.
Speaking in the Seanad McGreehan highlighted that “the much-needed electricity costs emergency benefit scheme will credit domestic electricity customers with €200 at a cost of €400 million. This is a one-off exceptional payment that is designed to tackle the cost of energy. But we can do more to target vulnerable households.”
Regarding the renewable energy that is being dumped, McGreehan examined the potential retail cost to consumers and what it could cost families in fuel poverty.
Senator McGreehan said: “According to EirGrid, 1,448 GWh of zero-carbon energy from wind generation was dumped in 2020. This was equivalent to 11.4% of the total available wind energy. Based on Electric Ireland's 24-hour standard rate of 21.2 cents per KWh, the 1,448 GWh of dumped energy cost families more than €305 million, excluding VAT. We know that the current figures are astronomically higher. In less than four years, far more than €1 billion in energy will have been dumped.
“I continue to advocate for the Government to take this opportunity to really take control of the situation and mandate energy companies to reduce the amount of energy dumped. There are many ways to reduce this, but one easy, efficient and common sense way is to redirect that energy straight into a struggling household. It is not all the solution, it is most definitely a valuable part of it.
“I have raised again with Minister Eamon Ryan at the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action debate on Tuesday, 30 Aug 2022 and with Fianna Fáil Minister Michael McGrath at this weeks ‘think in’ and also last Wednesday night during my speech on Energy for the Fianna Fáil PMB.
“It is critical that we utilise this energy, it has always been wrong to waste energy, with the current crisis and the thousands of households in fuel poverty it is absolutely immoral to continue the practice of wilfully wasting energy and no plan to begin to utilise it.”