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Friday 22 September 2023 Dublin: 9°C
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# Energy prices
Coveney: Electric Ireland 'should answer questions' on price cut for businesses and not households
The energy provider announced that energy bills would decrease for businesses from Wednesday, but not for residential customers.

MINISTER FOR ENTERPRISE Simon Coveney has said “an explanation is needed” from Electric Ireland as to why it is reducing bills for businesses but not for household customers. 

The energy provider confirmed yesterday that an average decrease of 10% will take effect on electricity bills for small and medium enterprises from Wednesday, while gas bills will see a decrease of 15%. 

However, no similar cut has been confirmed for its household customers.

In a statement to The Journal, a spokesperson for Electric Ireland said it intends to keep its prices under review and that reductions in wholesale costs can take some time to have a knock-on effect for residential customers.

“Electric Ireland will continue to keep its prices under constant review, and is committed to providing customers with the best value possible across a broad range of products. As of 1 February 2023, Electric Ireland offers the lowest Estimated Annual Bill for electricity on the market,” it said.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Coveney said that Electric Ireland need to answer questions as to why they are taking that approach.

“Of course, it’s welcome for businesses that electricity prices are going down by 10% and gas prices by 15%, but I think many households listening to that story yesterday on the radio will be asking themselves the question: ‘why isn’t that applying to my bill?’ And I think that is a fair question to answer,” he said.

Coveney said that Minister Michael McGraw “was correct yesterday when he said that I think consumers and households would have a legitimate expectation now that the same would apply to them”.

He said that as wholesale prices for gas have fallen significantly, “we want to see households benefiting from that change in market reality”.

“We want to see it changing quickly because when wholesale prices increase, the increases seem to happen quickly for households and for businesses, and so likewise, when wholesale prices fall, we want to see the benefits of that as quickly as possible.”

Coveney said that both households and businesses have had “a tough winter, and if it hadn’t been for Government support, it would have been even tougher”.

“So of course, we want to see households benefiting from reduced electricity prices when the market allows for that and I think there’s an explanation needed as to how an energy company can reduce for businesses but not for households.”

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