Household and business electricity bills are set to rise next autumn to cover a proposed €500 million subsidy for green energy and peat-fired electricity generators.
The proposal from the State’s energy regulator could add €2.37 a month to bills paid by each home in the Republic from next October, irrespective of their supplier, while small businesses would face an increase of €8.06 a month.
The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) is recommending increasing a levy on all electricity users in the State to support renewable energy and peat-fired power plants by €104 million to €496.5 million.
The charge, known as the public service obligation (PSO) is used to guarantee the price paid for electricity to wind farms, other renewable energy producers and peat-fired plants, and is renewed for 12 months every October.
An increase in the number of renewable generators, the bulk of which are wind farms, in the Republic is driving the proposed increase. A paper produced by the regulator shows that these businesses would receive €393.5 million of the €496.5 million total.
“The main driver behind the increase in the levy is an increase in the level of renewable capacity, with the cost of renewables increasing by €73 million relative to the 2016/17 levy,” a note explaining the proposal from the CER states.
State companies such as the ESB, Coillte and Bord na Móna are all involved in wind generation. Lobbyists for the industry have consistently argued that supporting results in an effective cut in wholesale energy costs.
A spokesman for the regulator explained the the organisation is implementing Government policy. Its calculations are only proposals; it will make a final decision on the actual charge in August following a consultation with interested parties. Any increases will be imposed two months later.
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