Electricity firms should announce price cuts 'in the coming weeks' - Ryan

Minister Eamon Ryan said Ireland will ultimately build a second energy interconnector to France and one to Spain
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.05 1 Sep 2023

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Electricity firms should annou...

Electricity firms should announce price cuts 'in the coming weeks' - Ryan

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.05 1 Sep 2023

Share this article

Electric companies should announce price reductions for customers 'in the coming weeks'.

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan was speaking as Energia announced price cuts will take effect in October.

There will be a 15% drop in its electricity prices, and 20% to gas.


Minister Ryan told The Hard Shoulder he expects other firms to follow suit.

"I think it's good news, it's good news for consumers," he said.

"It's about time, but it's taken this time for a reason.

"Energia are one of the top four - the likes of ESB, Bord Gais, SSE - I would imagine in the coming weeks they would also announce reductions.

"Probably different levels because each company has different circumstances, but I think it is a competitive market.

"There are a lot of supply companies, and I think that competition will help drive down prices.

"They won't come down to the levels we might have seen two, three or four years ago, but they'll be nowhere near the incredibly high prices of the last year and a half."

'Switching to offshore wind'

Minister Ryan said prices will drop as we move away from gas.

"The reason our prices are particularly high is because we're reliant on so much gas for our electricity; that's why Irish prices are higher by European standards," he said.

"They will come down as we switch away from the use of gas.

"They will [come down] as we switch to offshore wind.

"At the moment, the retail price is around 40c a kilowatt hour.

"We've contracted an auction system for offshore wind on the east coast... the wholesale price is 8.-something cent a kilowatt hour.

"So, as that comes on-stream, and as we switch away from the use of gas, our prices will come down."

'Interconnector to Spain'

Minister Ryan said Ireland currently has two energy interconnectors, with two more under construction.

He is to hold talks with his British counterpart about building more.

"I'll be going to London the week after next, and I'll be talking with the UK climate and energy minister about building more of those wires," he said.

"It's all about balancing variable power and variable supply and demand.

"The way I see it going [is] we will then build another further connection with France, and even connecting beyond that to go to Spain.

"In going to Spain [you] connect that Mediterranean solar [energy] with Irish wind.

"That gives you the long-term, stable, low-carbon, fit-for-climate, fit-for-energy security world.

"That's what we're going to build," he added.

Listen back here:

Main image: Split-screen shows Environment Minister Eamon Ryan speaking in Newstalk studios, and a file photo of an electricity bill 

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