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Utility Regulator must act in the interests of the people, not the private Companies – Stanley

29 June, 2016 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Brian Stanley TD has stated the need for any new utility regulators to act in the interests of the citizens.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Stanley said:

“Any regulatory Commission must have the necessary powers to do its job effectively. However, we have seen in the past in this country that it was not the absence of power but the refusal of regulators to exercise the power they had that allowed market forces to run rampant and destroy the lives of so many people.

“The enhanced powers of the Commission for Energy Regulation are to be welcomed, but these powers alone will not be enough to dissuade bad practices unless we also have a Board that consistently puts the welfare of Irish citizens first.

“The previous government allowed large energy companies to drive energy policy in Ireland. This resulted in the erection of dozens of giant wind turbines in counties such as Laois, Offaly, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath, blighting the landscape and disturbing the peace of rural homeowners.

“This has also resulted in the state becoming too heavily reliant on wind energy to the detriment of other renewable energy sources.

“Will the additional powers of this Commission bring real savings or will the energy suppliers tell the regulators what to do as happened with the banking regulator. The CER did not make energy suppliers pass on savings to the customer since the price of oil collapsed. We need guarantees that the new agency will do better.” 

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