Electricity in Ireland costs 26% more than the rest of Europe - Newstalk

Image audioElectricity in Ireland costs 26% more than the rest of Europe - Newstalk

A recent energy report by Eurostat revealed that electricity prices in Ireland are 26% higher than the EU average

This means that average Irish households are paying €254 more than their EU counterparts for their electricity.

Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, Daragh Cassidy, appeared on Newstalk to explain why. 

Listen to the full interview above or read the transcript below for the full explanation. 

32% of Ireland's electricity came from wind in April 2022, so why are we paying more? 

Electricity, like everything in Europe and Ireland, is taxed by the Government, which adds to the national cost of living.   

In fact, Ireland taxes electricity lower than the EU average. 

Before the Government adds on tax, Ireland's electricity is around 60% more expensive than the EU average.  

This suggests that the Irish electricity market is inefficient. 

With that being said, there are ways that homeowners can ease this impact and pay less tax

Another factor is that we’re an island, so we have additional transport costs for everything.

We do, however, have our own small gas field for national supply, which is dwindling.

There’s also the fact that we have a largely dispersed population, which means getting the infrastructure built to get electricity to those homes is costly. 

Why do other island countries not have the same issues with energy prices?

We’re significantly above the average EU energy price when you include VAT, and when you exclude VAT we’re way above the average net price. 

So even with the Government cutting the cost of VAT on energy bills, it’s still quite high. 

Only Denmark, Germany, and Belgium are more expensive than Ireland for electricity. 

Denmark is a lot cheaper when you look at the net price, despite the fact that it’s similar to Ireland in that it uses a lot of green energy in the form of wind, and it’s practically an island location. 

However, even with the similar use of renewable energy, Denmark may be better located in that they’re connected to mainland Europe and its grids. 

Ireland is connected to the UK, so we can import electricity from the UK when we need to, and we’re also working on building a connection with France. 

If we can establish a French connection that may bring prices down further as we’ll be able to import more electricity when we need to.

Nuclear energy may be another reason for higher prices.

Ireland doesn't use nuclear energy, but the likes of France, Sweden and other countries do, and so they benefit from the reduced electricity costs it brings. 

What should be done? 

There’s a variety of reasons why our electricity prices are higher than in Europe, and an investigation might possibly need to be done, as it’s the consumer who pays. 

As we said, we’re paying an extra €254 per year for our electricity compared to our EU neighbours. 

That’s on top of the second-highest mortgage rates in Europe, record rents, and high broadband costs as well. 

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