HOUSEHOLDS and businesses have received rare good news after the energy regulator decided to reimburse them the money on their electricity bills.
Electricity customers were expected to save nearly €60 on their annual bills, with the government expecting a significant reduction in utility charges for next year.
Instead, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission issued a decision document regarding Public Service Obligation (PSO) calculations which is even better news, with refunds of €89 for domestic customers.
And there will be refunds of €311.51 for small business customers.
The decision covers the period from October 1 to September 30 next year.
The OSP tax is charged to all bills and supports the production of electricity from local sustainable and renewable energy sources.
The regulator has calculated that the levy should be minus 491.25 million euros for next year due to unprecedented high levels of wholesale electricity prices.
Low electricity prices mean that wind farms and other environmental forms of energy production need high subsidies, but the reverse is also true.
The CRU said the OSP levy is a key factor in enabling Ireland to meet its national targets for electricity generation from renewables.
The levy has reached €90 per year on electricity bills in recent years.
CRU officials had set the levy for this year at 755 million euros, but it has been reduced to minus 491 million euros for next year.
They said this was due to the design of a new renewable energy support scheme.
This means that renewable energy generators bring in market revenue above a certain level to off-take customers, and also from the return of overpayments from a previous period when wholesale prices and revenues have increased. above expected levels.
CRU Chairman Aoife MacEvilly said that compared to this year, the calculation of the fee for next year represents an annual saving of €140.76 for domestic customers and €475.05 for small customers. commercial.
The CRU said this is the first time since the start of the program that a negative OSP of this magnitude has been calculated.
Ms MacEvilly said: “The decrease in the PSO levy is positive, however, its inverse relationship to wholesale fuel costs means customers will have already seen price increases from suppliers in recent months.
“We encourage customers to renegotiate with their supplier or switch to a new supplier where they could save over €300.”
The announcement comes days before ESB-owned Electric Ireland will hit more than a million homes with a fourth rise in electricity and gas prices in a year.
The ESB-owned energy supplier hiked electricity prices by 11% and gas prices by 29% on Monday.
This is Electric Ireland’s second price increase this year, and the fourth since last year.
When the public company’s latest increase takes effect, electricity prices will have increased by 67% over the past few years.
The price of gas will be 350 € per year more expensive after the last increase.
Electric Ireland gas prices will have risen by 93% when the new increase is implemented.
Households have been warned that wholesale gas prices could continue to rise.