HOUSEHOLDS and businesses have received some rare good news after the Energy Regulator decided to reimburse them money on their electricity bills.
It had been expected that electricity customers would save nearly €60 on their annual bills as the government expected a significant cut in public service charges next year.
Instead, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities has published an even better decision paper on calculating the Public Service Obligation (PSO) with reimbursements of 89 euros for household customers.
And for small commercial customers there is a refund of 311.51 euros.
The decision covers the period from October 1st to September 30th next year.
The PSO surcharge is levied on all bills and supports the generation of electricity from sustainable and renewable local energy sources.
The regulator has calculated that the levy should be minus €491.25 million for next year due to unprecedented and persistently high wholesale electricity prices.
Low electricity prices require high subsidies for wind farms and other environmentally friendly forms of energy production, but the opposite is also true.
The CRU said the PSO levy is a key factor in enabling Ireland to meet its national renewable electricity generation targets.
In recent years, the annual contribution to the electricity bill has been up to 90 euros.
CRU officials had set the levy at €755 million for this year, but it has been reduced to minus €491 million for next year.
They said this was due to the design of a new renewable energy support program.
This means that renewable energy producers are returning market revenues to supply customers above a certain level, and also from returning overpayments from a prior period when wholesale prices and revenues rose above forecast levels.
CRU Chair Aoife MacEvilly said next year’s levy calculation represents an annual saving of €140.76 for residential customers and €475.05 for small commercial customers compared to this year.
The CRU said this is the first time a negative PSO of this magnitude has been calculated since the program began.
Ms MacEvilly said: “The fall in the PSO levy is positive, but its inverse relationship with wholesale fuel costs means customers have already seen price increases from suppliers in recent months.
“We would encourage customers to renegotiate with their supplier or switch to a new supplier where they could save over €300.”
The announcement comes days before ESB-owned Electric Ireland hits more than a million homes with a fourth rise in electricity and gas prices in a year.
ESB’s own energy supplier increased electricity prices by 11 percent and gas prices by 29 percent on Monday.
It is Electric Ireland’s second price increase this year and fourth since last year.
When the state-owned company’s latest hike goes into effect, electricity prices will have risen 67 percent over the past few years.
Gas costs are going up by 350 euros a year after the latest increase.
Electric Ireland’s gas prices will be up 93 per cent if the new hike is implemented.
Households have been warned that wholesale gas costs could continue to rise.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/electricity-customers-to-get-a-refund-in-rare-piece-of-good-news-on-energy-41877474.html Electricity customers get a rare good news refund on energy