Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe said he was “very surprised” at the scale of base rate increases some utilities had introduced.
r Donohoe reacted after an investigation by Bonkers.ie and Independent.ie revealed that providers had increased basic fees for residential customers by more than 300 euros in some cases.
Minister Donohoe said suppliers must “be aware of their responsibilities” and make “every effort” not to put further pressure on households and businesses.
During the energy crisis, electricity and gas suppliers pushed through enormous basic price increases, which customers cannot avoid by changing suppliers or reducing consumption.
Some providers now charge a basic fee of up to 700 euros per year – these are incurred regardless of the customer’s energy consumption.
“What is very important in the period ahead is that those involved in bringing electricity to homes and businesses remain aware of their responsibilities,” Secretary Donohoe told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show.
“Of course we continue to encourage consumers and businesses to look for best value for money, which many are doing at the moment anyway for reasons we know, but in the period ahead we obviously want to ensure that this is the case for the energy sector itself contributes its part.
“It’s very surprising to see this kind of change. While I would expect the price of the infrastructure and equipment to actually change over time, maybe that’s the reason for such a change? However, it is up to businesses themselves to justify this and any additional pressure on households and businesses, on top of the severe pressure so many are already facing, should be done to avoid it.”
Minister Donohoe said the “difficulties we are having” operating the electricity market when “extreme prices” arise have been exposed by the war against Ukraine.
“Therefore we are now looking at EU level how this extra profit that some are making from higher prices can be captured and passed on in higher prices and work is underway on that. ” he said.
Minister Donohoe said EU energy ministers are considering proposals and he expects a decision “late September or early October”.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/energy-companies-must-justify-big-increases-in-standing-charges-imposed-on-customers-paschal-donohoe-42000297.html Energy companies must justify large increases in base rates imposed on customers – Paschal Donohoe