In a robbing Peter to pay Paul more than €600 million was added to Irelands domestic electricity customers bills to subsidise the biggest corporate electricity users for 12 years from 2010 to 2022 according to the Energy Regulator. The “Large energy user rebalancing subvention” was a scheme to add €50 million in annual network charges to domestic customer bills and use it to subsidise large corporate users. Eamon Ryan’s Communications, Energy and Natural Resources department came up with this rebalancing arrangement in response to 2010 competitiveness concerns. Despite that, department documentation shows that this scheme was planned to be permanent, saying “the permanent rebalancing from 1st October 2010 of network tariffs towards LEU’s to be paid for by higher prices to domestic consumers”.
Robbery Scheme Discontinued
When the CRU sought to discontinue the robbery scheme last year, the Department of Enterprise angrily complained that this was “not helpful”, and was “punitive” and didn’t take into account the implications for business. Correspondence is redacted (blacked out) from when this subversive scheme was agreed to hide Eamon Ryan’s contributions. When the Cabinet wanted to reduce electricity costs for around 1,500 top corporate energy users whose existing subsidies were ending and as a result bringing their electricity costs way above the European average.
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
Minister Eamon Ryan’s department came up with the ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ rebalancing arrangement as a proposed solution. As Environment Minister Ryan again holds the energy brief whose department excuses his big business energy policy by saying. “Network tariffs were rebalanced in favour of large energy users as a means by which to help safeguard employment in some of Ireland’s most-critical and export-orientated industries at a crucial time for the State.”
The ‘large energy user (LEU) rebalancing subvention’ scheme was a euphemism for robbing the already overcharged domestic electricity users by adding more than €50m extra per year in domestic network charges and using it to subsidise big business. The either couldn’t get this legal robbery scheme right or they decided to pilfer much more from the unsuspecting domestic users. A lookback by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU)… found an “implementation issue” (theft) resulting in “more than the amount approved in the CRU decision was passed to LEU customers”. As of now it is unclear how much extra cost was actually added to domestic electricity bills during those 12 years. The CRU said the removal of this thieving scheme would return €40 a year to domestic electricity users. Unfortunately, this has already been swallowed up many times over because of runaway electricity prices. Those prices are mainly the result of hare-brained schemes for electricity production such as wind farms that have proven to be very expensive disastrous failures in California and Hawaii and are now proving to be a decommissioning nightmare. Yet we insist on repeating their very obvious failure.
The CRU says in its attempted retrospective regulation that it will have calculated the amount of additional overcharging when it completes its annual review of network revenues which won’t even begin until April 2023. The question remains “What were the CRU doing that they didn’t notice this over a 12-year span?” After all aren’t they the “Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU)”? Does that not include overcharging?