Households get new electricity credits before Christmas to help balance their energy bills

Households can expect a new electricity loan to clear their energy bills before Christmas, Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan has confirmed.

r Ryan made the remarks as Cabinet today signs off plans to limit energy use in the public sector with temperatures of 19C suitable for the use of any public building.

The public sector is expected to lead by example on energy efficiency in the coming months, Ryan said, with other suggestions including reducing heating in low-occupancy spaces, optimizing timers and thermostats, and reducing consumption at peak times.

Mr Ryan said it was the first in a series of memos and the government would consider it, saying there would be multiple phases to get through this winter into next year.

He said EU energy ministers would discuss market reform to cut household bills at a meeting this Friday.

Mr Ryan said the government supports EU proposals to decouple the wholesale cost of electricity from the market price of gas. “What I mean there in the electricity market would indeed be the same effect as a windfall tax, it would give the same result,” he said.

He said there was a commitment to introducing budgetary supports, including support for businesses at risk from skyrocketing bills. The package of measures will include a new electricity loan – in addition to the €200 cuts from bills earlier this year – which would come into effect before Christmas, Mr Ryan confirmed.

“Yes, we held back, a lot of people argued we should have had a mini-budget in the summer and we said no at the time because the time for that is late fall, early next year.

“So I think it was absolutely right that we hold back our fire and see what the actual situation is in the fall and then we have to provide support,” he said.

He said there will also be an ongoing campaign “to reduce our consumption, to save money, to deal with this war situation that we are in on energy, energy is being used as a weapon of war.”

Heading to the cabinet meeting, Public Expenditure Secretary Michael McGrath said budgetary decisions on the cost of living would take into account the decision by EU energy ministers later this week.

He said the government would try to provide financial support to people as soon as possible ahead of a “difficult autumn and winter period” and that a separate package of one-off measures was “at a very advanced stage”.

He said there was no absolute guarantee blackouts could be avoided this winter.

The Indo Daily: Chills, bills and blackouts – what Ireland’s energy crisis means for you

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