Irish consumers are bracing themselves for a rise in electricity prices in 2022. The move, which was announced by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), would see electricity prices rise by an average of 4.5%. It is estimated that this will add an extra €100 to €150 to the average electricity bill in Ireland.
The CRU said that the price increase was necessary in order to cover the rising costs of electricity production, transmission and distribution. The organisation said that it was also necessary to ensure that Ireland was meeting its obligations under the EU’s 2020 renewables target.
The news of the price increase has been met with criticism from consumer groups, who argue that it will be the most vulnerable in society who will be hardest hit. They have also argued that the price increase is unjustified and that the CRU should have taken other measures to reduce electricity costs.
Reaction From Consumer Groups
Consumer groups have been quick to express their disappointment in the CRU’s decision. Irish consumer group, the National Consumer Agency (NCA), said that the price increase would hit those already struggling to make ends meet the hardest. They argued that the decision was unfair and that the CRU should have taken other measures to reduce electricity costs.
The NCA also called on the CRU to ensure that any price increase was proportionate and that it was applied in a way that would not disadvantage those on lower incomes. They also argued that the CRU should provide greater clarity about how it calculated the price increase and why it was necessary.
Impact on the Economy
The price increase is likely to have a significant impact on the Irish economy. It is estimated that Irish businesses will have to pay an extra €1.5 billion in electricity costs over the next five years. This could lead to businesses cutting costs, which could result in job losses and lower wages.
The rise in electricity prices could also lead to an increase in inflation. This could put further pressure on the Irish economy, as higher inflation could lead to higher interest rates and a decrease in consumer spending.
What Can Consumers Do?
Irish consumers can take steps to reduce the impact of the price increase. The first step should be to switch energy providers to ensure that you are getting the best deal. Consumers should also look into switching to a more efficient energy supplier, as this could help to reduce bills.
Consumers should also make sure that they are using energy efficiently. This means switching off lights and appliances when not in use and using energy efficient bulbs. Consumers can also look into getting an energy monitor to track their energy usage and help them to cut down on their bills.
The decision by the CRU to raise electricity prices in 2022 is likely to have a significant impact on the Irish economy. Irish consumers can take steps to reduce the impact of the price increase, such as switching energy providers and being more energy efficient. However, it is important that the CRU ensures that any price increase is proportionate and that it is applied in a way that does not disadvantage those on lower incomes.