Seanad debates

Thursday, 12 May 2022

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Eugene MurphyEugene Murphy (Fianna Fail)

I was not here on certain days for the Order of Business so it is possible that the issue of high energy prices has been discussed this week. If so, I apologise for bringing it up again. We learned recently that householders are paying €250 more for electricity than the EU average. We are told by journalists like Charlie Weston and others involved in the media, including Daragh Cassidy of bonkers.ie, that our electricity prices are between 26% and 28% higher than the EU average. Only a small number of countries, Denmark, Germany and Belgium, have more expensive energy prices. We must bear in mind that those figures, which show an enormous difference, were published before the war in Ukraine. We have a major issue here with the cost of electricity. That is despite the fact that there are 12 electricity suppliers in this country, which is high number for an island of this size, but we still seem to have a significant issue with the cost. On average, most families will pay €800 or €900 a year more annually for electricity. That will be a shocking weight around the necks of many families in the coming months and years if the war does not come to an end. The war is not helping the situation. I ask that we have the Minister in here, not to fire arrows at him but for a constructive debate. We can all come up with new ideas on why electricity costs so much more in this country. I always make the point that we are part of the EU, but we are an island off Europe and providing anything in an island country is always more expensive, but, nevertheless, there is a stark difference in electricity prices, and the Government needs to investigate the matter.

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