Friday, July 29, 2011

Gas Price Rise Will Push More Families into Arrears

Gas Price Rise Will Push More Families into Arrears

Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent has said the 22% increase in gas prices approved by the Commission for Energy Regulation will push more families into arrears, and called on the government to develop Ireland’s own energy resources.

Cllr Nugent said:

“The news that gas prices are to increase by 22% from October comes as another blow to families who are struggling to make ends meet.”

“It will mean an increase of €160 annually in the average gas bill. Customers of Bord Gais Energy have already been hit by a 12% increase in electricity prices earlier this month.”

“More than 114,000 customers of Bord Gais are now in arrears of two months or more. The latest increase – which will come into effect at the start of winter – will leave even more people facing a choice between heating their homes and running up bills they cannot pay.”

“While the increase reflects rising gas prices on international markets, I share the view of the National Consumer Agency that the customer should not have the bear the whole burden.”

“There is also the bigger issue here of Ireland’s dependence on imported energy when we have vast potential energy resources off our West Coast. The Corrib Field alone contains approximately €50 billion worth of proven gas reserves. These resources, along with our renewable energy potential, should be developed under state ownership in the interests of the Irish people. Instead Corrib gas field has been handed to international corporations who will pay no royalties and hardly any tax to the state.”

“Ireland has the potential to be energy independent within a generation, and in a time of rising energy prices the government needs to make this a central plank of national policy. Otherwise consumers will continue to ne hit by severe price rises like that which Bord Gais has just announced.”

For further information contact Cllr Mick Nugent @ 087-6755793

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