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Plan to take €100 off the first electricity bills of 2022 to be discussed by Cabinet next week

Electricity prices increased by almost 5% in November, up nearly 21% over the 12 months.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

ONE HUNDRED EURO will be taken off peoples’ first electricity bill of the new year, under government plans due to be announced next week.

The Journal reported yesterday that a memo will go to Cabinet on Tuesday outlining the measures government will take to reduce household energy bills.

The one-off €100 electricity credit will cover the first two months of the year. The final details of how the scheme will operate will be worked out over the weekend. 

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath are working with the Environment Minister Eamon Ryan on the matter.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said yesterday that he expects bills for electricity and possibly gas bills to go down a “a little bit” in the new year under new government measures.

Varadkar said the government are reviewing a range of options put forward by the European Union, which will assist families and households with the high cost of energy.  

“These are currently under consideration. We would certainly like to do something to help with electricity bills and perhaps also gas bills,” he said. 

“We hope to be in a position to make a decision on that in the near future so that people will see the effects of that decision in the bills they receive being a little bit lower than expected in the new year,” he said. 

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) reported yesterday that Irish consumer prices were 5.3% higher in November than a year ago — the largest annual change in prices since 2001.

Prices are rising at their fastest pace in over 20 years and faster than last month’s 4.9% average across the Eurozone.

Prices increased by 0.6% within the month of November, marking the 13th consecutive month of inflation.

The annual increase is mostly being driven mainly by soaring diesel and petrol prices as well as electricity bills and gas bills, according to the latest Consumer Price Index.

Housing, electricity, water, gas and home heating prices jumped an overall 12% in the year and just over 0.2% in November alone.

Electricity prices had increased by almost 5% in the month, up nearly 21% over the 12 months, according to the figures.

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As reported in The Journal’s Morning Memo newsletter today, the “booming demand coupled with shortfalls of wholesale gas supplies across Europe pushed up energy prices across the continent — particularly in the UK — over the late autumn period.”

Political pressure has been mounting on the government to step in as consumers face mounting bills. 

Some of the immediate measures under consideration to help protect vulnerable consumers and businesses include providing emergency income support for energy-poor consumers as well as allowing for temporary deferrals of bill payments.

The EU has suggested that governments also introduce safeguards to avoid disconnections from electricity grids and to give temporary, targeted reductions in taxation rates for vulnerable households. 

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