Concern at consequences of energy price hike - IBEC

 

IBEC has expressed serious concern at the economic challenges posed by rapidly rising energy costs.

Danny McCoy, IBEC Director of Policy, said - ďThe CERís interim announcement can only add to the overall cost of doing business in Ireland and undermine competitiveness. Given the current uncertain economic climate, IBEC is disappointed by the CERís lack of inclusive consultation and the phasing of a proposed introduction of a 17.5% price increase in electricity in just three weeks time (Click Here).

ďIBEC acknowledges that energy prices will inevitably rise to reflect current international fuel price increases and welcomes moves by the ESB and CER to explore options to mitigate the price impact for consumers. Nevertheless, we would call on Government and the Regulator to ensure the level of price change does not impact our relative competitiveness internationally" - concluded Mr McCoy.

Specific IBEC proposals include -

  • Supports for Energy Efficiency
    Substantial support mechanisms must be made available to support investment in energy-efficient equipment. Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way of reducing energy demand and bills. However, the capital costs of investing in equipment that is more efficient can be prohibitive.
    While the establishment of an energy-efficiency capital allowance scheme in Budget 2008 was welcome, the scope of products covered was very limited.

  • Market Competition
    Deliver meaningful competition in Irelandís electricity and gas markets.

  • Infrastructure
    Government must fund energy infrastructure of strategic national importance via the NDP 2007-2013. An estimated spend of Ä15bn is required in the electricity and gas transport infrastructure in 2020.
    Funding this investment via consumer tariffs will further increase bills. As infrastructure of national importance IBEC calls on the Government to fund energy transmission networks via the NDP 2007-2013.

  • Fuel Diversification
    Ireland must diversify fuel sources - Irelandís dependence on imported fossil fuels significantly exposes us to volatility of international fuel prices.
    Ireland must urgently look to diversify fuel, harnessing indigenous energy - including wind, biomass and wave/tidal. Developing these options will increase economic performance, create jobs in new sectors and reduce dependence on fuel imports.

  • Corrib Gas
    The Corrib field must be completed urgently. Fossil fuels, particularly gas, will continue to play an important role in Irelandís fuel mix. As such, every effort must be made to ensure the urgent completion of this project - reducing import dependence.