Government must intervene over Standing Charges – McNamara

Independent Clare T.D. Michael McNamara says the Government needs to step in to prevent electricity and gas providers from imposing significant increases in standing charges during the ongoing energy crisis.

Deputy McNamara’s comments follow an investigation by showing that some suppliers are now charging up to €700 a year in standing charges, which are imposed regardless of how much energy a customer uses.

“This is opportunism on the back of a population already in trouble and has to be stopped by government,” stated Deputy McNamara.

He continued, “As the cost of importing gas and coal soars so does the cost of electricity from them. Half of electricity generated here is from gas and almost 75% of that gas is imported, while coal generated 11 % in 2021.”

Deputy McNamara said the Government is in a position to prevent the ESB from increasing standing charges but to date, has not.

“Customers cannot avoid a standing charge as it must be paid no matter how much electricity or gas a household uses. A State-owned company increasing standing orders during record profits is laughing at people’s misery,” he said.