Electricity providers are making a mockery of fixed-price contracts, according to Fianna Fáil T.D. for Tipperary, Jackie Cahill. Cahill made these comments this morning in the Dáil when highlighting a practice that energy providers have adopted of including “additional market charges” to fixed-price energy bills.
This, in practice, allows electricity providers to circumvent the spirit and principal of fixed-price bills, and in some cases has seen bills increase by up to 100%, according to Deputy Cahill.
Speaking on this today, the Thurles man said: “I was contacted by three small business owners yesterday who were shocked to see their fixed-price energy bills rise by anywhere between 70% and 100% in the last two months. Since raising this issue in the Dáil this morning, I have heard of five other instances of bills arriving through letterboxes with shocking price increases being incurred as a result of “additional market charges”.
“In one such instance, a small business owner was slapped with an “additional market charge” of €975 on top of their bi-monthly fixed-price bill of €1,035. In effect, this small business owner in Thurles who is doing their best to meet their overheads has seen their energy bill double.
“I have questioned the Minister in relation to the legality of this and he has committed to following this issue up with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). I have also written to the CRU myself and lodged a complaint in relation to these practices.
“Energy providers are making a mockery of the concept of fixed-price contracts by springing these “additional market charges” on consumers and I have serious concerns about the legality of such a process. I will continue to work on this issue and push the CRU for answers on this”, Cahill concluded.