Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 4 October 2022
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
Energy Prices: Discussion
Mr. Pat Fenlon:
I thank the Deputy. It is not for me to say what is the market structure or legal or regulatory construct in which ESB operates.
Our job is to operate in the marketplace with the rules and regulations put in place by the Government and the regulator. On the not-for-profit mandate, that was in the past, I would think. In the current environment we are investing over €1 billion per annum in critical electricity infrastructure, which is important for maintaining security of supply and connections for renewables. It is also critically important in delivery of net zero for this country. The ESB Group needs to borrow on the international bond markets and without generating appropriate cash or a suitable profit being returned, we would not be able to fund that investment. Of the profit the ESB Group makes, over 50% of that goes back to the State in the form of dividends and taxes; the rest effectively funds investment in infrastructure for the country, which is critical to deliver net zero. Also, we are in a competitive market and in Electric Ireland, our prices are, have been and will continue to be competitive in that marketplace relative to other suppliers in terms of offering value to our customers.