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Renewable energy 'tax' on electricity to double from October

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Electricity levy is doubling

Electricity levy is doubling

Electricity levy is doubling

The levy charged on electricity bills to support the development of renewable energy supplies will be more than doubled in the year ahead, the energy regulator says.

Domestic consumers will have to pay an extra €3.68 per month on the PSO levy element of their bill when the public service obligation rises by 123pc.

The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities announced the new monthly levy will be €6.52 compared with the current rate of €2.84.

However, the increase, which is due to come into effect from October 1, is less than the new rate of €8.06 per month originally proposed by the regulator in June.

The CRU said there is an inverse relationship between the PSO levy and wholesale electricity prices.

It means an increase in the cost of one factor should be offset by cheaper prices for the other.

The PSO levy rate for small commercial customers will go up by €11.06 to €21.41 per month.

Medium and large business customers will be subject to a monthly levy of €2.78 per kVA (kilovolte-ampere) - up from €1.22 per kVA.

Business

The amount required to be raised by the PSO levy for the next 12 months is €393.1m - up from the current level of €176.5m.

CRU chairperson, Aoife MacEvilly, said the regulator was fully aware of the impact of any changes to the charges on a customer's bill.

However, she added: "We would encourage customers to offset this increase by renegotiating or switching energy supplier which can generate significant savings."

Employers' group, IBEC, said the high increase in the PSO levy was being introduced at a time when Irish businesses were "under immense pressure" and already facing some of the highest electricity charges in Europe.

St Vincent de Paul said that while the transition to renewable energy and halting climate change were hugely important it should not come "at an increasing cost to the energy poor customer".

The Irish Wind Energy Association criticised the CRU for failing to refer to the numerous benefits that the PSO levy delivers through promoting the development of renewable energy.

Such benefits include delivering significant emission reductions and cost savings for consumers, it said.