Social Democrats spokesperson on Energy and Climate Change Councillor Cian O’Callaghan has said proposed reductions in the Public Service Obligation Levy (PSO), made today by the Energy Regulator, should be passed onto customers.

Under the proposed new rate for 2018/2019 the PSO on electricity bills would reduce by 45% and would mean decreases of about €41 in the annual electricity bill for households and €148 for small businesses.

Cllr. O’Callaghan said:  “Ireland continues to have some of the highest electricity bills in the EU so these proposed reductions will be welcomed by families and small businesses. It is especially good news for low users of electricity as the PSO is designed as a flat charge rather than on the polluter pays principle so it disproportionately hits people who use the least.

“However, there is an onus on the Regulator to ensure that these reductions are not exploited by energy companies as a justification to disguise price hikes as the PSO falls. Already we have seen one push up their prices in the past week. We will see if others follow. The coming weeks will be a firm test as to whether or not competition in energy markets is working for consumers in Ireland.”