People should change energy providers in order to put “pressure” on companies to drop their prices, Eamon Ryan has said.
Electricity prices in January this year were 98% higher than they were in January 2021, as a result of the disruption of supply chains in the international energy market.
Companies have announced price cuts this autumn but the Minister for the Environment said there were things consumers could be doing as well.
“I think there will be further reductions but exactly when [I’m not sure],” Minister Ryan told journalists.
“What happens on the wholesale market, no one can be certain about that - [it depends] on what happens in the war.
“We do benefit from having a competitive market; when meeting the companies last week, there is a fair bit of people moving.
“That way of keeping the pressure on prices and keeping them down is an important and valid way.”
Minister Ryan was speaking following the release of a report by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities which warned that prices would likely remain high for some time to come.
“It is probable that retail prices will not return to the levels seen in 2020 / early 2021, given that the EU is now importing more expensive LNG, instead of Russian gas, likely on a permanent basis,” the report concluded.
“While wholesale and gas prices have reduced, they remain substantially above average prices in 2020 and early 2021.
“Ireland is more reliant on gas for power generation than many EU member states.”
In spring 2022, the Government announced all households would receive €600 in credit on their energy bills.
The credit was paid in three instalments of €200 and there have been calls for the Government to announce a fourth €200 credit in next month’s budget.
Main image: Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie