Cafe owner shocked after €10,000 electricity bill for just two months

A café owner is puzzled as to how she is supposed to pay an electricity bill of almost 10,000 euros for two months in the summer.

Eraldine Dolan, who runs Poppy Fields cafe and restaurant in Athlone, said she was baffled by the amount of the bill.

The record bill comes after she struggled through lockdowns for two years to keep her business afloat.

“I am shocked. After working hard to keep the business afloat over the past two years, it feels like a kick in the face,” she said.

She had her business account with the Spanish company Iberdrola, which had withdrawn from the electricity supply business here in June.

This meant her account was automatically switched to Electric Ireland.

The bill for the period from July 8 to August 19 is 9,836 euros. Approximately €812 of the invoice is accounted for by VAT.

This is a slightly longer period than normal as the regulator has automatically switched Iberdrola accounts to Electric Ireland.

“I don’t know how to deal with it. A price like that is just bananas.”

She said she has an advisor who helps her switch suppliers regularly to ensure the company gets the best price, and the cafe’s account only switched to Iberdrola in October.

And she was told she wouldn’t be able to move until next month.

Ms. Dolan said her annual electricity bill for the cafe in 2021 was €12,700 excluding VAT.

But according to the latest bill, she has to shell out 45,000 euros excluding VAT for a year.

The café employs 11 people, some part-time, and is open six days a week.

The café also uses gas, but the oven is electric.

“We had a great summer and pay good wages. I would like to reward the staff, but now there is a €10,000 bill to pay, and this for the summer.”

She said the business is recovering after being forced to close due to Covid.

The restaurant had to close just a week after completing a major renovation.

Commenting on the bumper bill, Ms. Dolan said: “A lot of companies are in the same position. There is no way it can go on like this.”

She said she contacted Electric Ireland about the amount of the bill but had no reply.

https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/cafe-owner-in-shock-after-10000-electricity-bill-for-just-two-months-41947378.html Cafe owner shocked after €10,000 electricity bill for just two months

Fry Electronics Team

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