Eamon Ryan has urged Irish people to “be clever with energy” amid soaring international prices.
Russia has been steadily cutting gas supplies into the European Union following its invasion of Ukraine and the Nord Stream pipeline is currently carrying only a fifth of its normal capacity.
As a result, prices have surged across Europe and yesterday energy ministers agreed the EU should reduce its use of gas by 15% this year.
While Ireland is officially exempt from the target, Minister Ryan said the nation still needs to reduce its energy consumption in the months ahead:
“We do have to reduce our use because what Mr Putin is doing is using energy as a weapon and [that’s] putting the price of energy up to unprecedented levels,” he told journalists.
“So we need to reduce our use for our own interests, for our own sake, but I don’t believe it will be through rationing.
“I think it will be through our own smarts that we make that happen.”
On the question of what individuals can do to reduce their energy consumption, Minister Ryan suggested:
“Just be clever with energy; go follow the Reduce Your Use website, look for some of the basic measures that we can do to save money.
“The price of gas is at unprecedented levels because of what the Russian Government is doing and every household will know it - either in their gas bill if they have one or in their electricity bill because the price of gas is driving up the price of electricity.
“So it’s the simple things; being really efficient, being really smart with the use of energy, not being wasteful, investing in solar panels, insulation, heat pumps that actually allow us to switch away from that gas.”
Main image: Green Party leader Eamon Ryan on his way into Cabinet. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews