Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Energy, Michael Moynihan TD, has called on the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) to act immediately and address the fact that energy prices across Europe are decreasing while they remain static in Ireland.
He commented: “Ireland has the highest energy prices in Europe but there has been no relief for consumers despite wholesale gas prices here being 23% lower than last year.
“Since this Government came to office, gas prices are up 36% and electricity prices are up 25%. Since 2011, the average household is paying €450 extra per year for their electricity and gas.
“The role of the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) is to protect the interests of consumers but I have seen zero evidence of this over the past number of years.
“I have received no credible reason for energy prices in Ireland not decreasing in line with lower wholesale costs. The CER is not performing an essential role in protecting hard-pressed consumers who now face unfair water charges in January.
“The CER maintains its hands are tied and it cannot directly involve itself in overseeing the prices being charged to consumers. Fianna Fáil is calling for the mandate of the CER to be changed so it can take a more proactive role in ensuring consumers receive value for money for their energy.
“Although the CER is an independent statutory body, it cannot be allowed to operate in isolation and Minister Alex White must ensure it carries out its function properly or extend the body’s remit so it can protect consumers.”