Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD, says questions need to be asked of the energy regulator after the ESB reported six month profits of €230 million.

Deputy Moynihan commented: “Ireland has been particularly badly hit with gas price increases, electricity hikes and prohibitive petrol costs over the past 12 months. The ESB alone increased its prices by 6% this year, following on from a 12% increase in 2011. This is on top of an 8.5% rise in gas prices for households, which are already under severe pressure.

“Increasingly, people are wondering what is the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) doing? What level of scrutiny are they applying when the ESB is walking away with lavish profits of a quarter of a billion in just six months? This news comes not even two months after the same regulator gave Bord Gáis Energy a higher price increase than they sought.

“The CER says that it looks after the interests of its customers, especially the disadvantaged and the elderly by ensuring that standards of services are set and codes of practices are in place to protect vulnerable users.

“This is not happening, the most vulnerable are not being protected. As we head into the winter season, more and more families will be forced to go without basic light and heating.

“The Minister has taken no discernible interest the activities of the CER to date. This approach needs to change.”