Thursday, March 02, 2023

Vivienne Clarke, Michael Bolton

Meath pensioner Gerry Clarke has vowed to challenge his €1,700 electricity bill, which he received for the period of December 9th to February 12th.

The 77-year-old claims his bill has been steadily increasing despite no changes in his energy usage.

“Prior to the [Ukraine] war it was €290, it went from that to €483.76, and it went from that then to €671, and on Monday it went to €1,671.65. I got someone to do a survey on that, they reckon it is the dearest bill in the world,” he said.

““I love a good fight especially, when I’m on the right side,” he added. “I am determined to fight this thing, and not on my behalf, but on the behalf of Ireland.”

It comes after Sinn Féin TD Johnny Guirke revealed another person from Meath received an electricity bill of €957.49.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe stated the government is willing to help people with high energy bills and is considering targeted measures to reduce prices.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne Mr Donohoe said he wanted to see energy prices reduced with the same speed with which they had been increased once there were signs of stability.

Since January 2022 the Government had made €9 billion available to help people, he said. Mr Donohoe urged people who had received high bills to engage with the energy companies, while the Government would do what it could to help.

If people were concerned about their bills there were steps that could be taken, he added. The Energy Regulator would also have a role to ensure that no people had their power cut off while steps were taken to pay off their bills.

Among the steps the Government could take were windfall taxation and a different level of dividend for energy companies associated with the State. The price levels being set by the energy companies would have to be monitored more closely, he said.

He confirmed there would not be another energy credit considered until Budget 2024.

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