Minister and Utility Regulator must address delay in payments to microgenerators - Darren O’Rourke TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, today called on Minister Eamon Ryan and the Utility Regulator (CRU) to intervene to ensure all utility companies start paying microgenerators for the renewable energy they are exporting to the grid.
The Meath East TD said:
“This week I contacted the 12 main electricity suppliers here to ask if they are now paying microgenerators for their electricity and, if so, how much per unit they are offering.
“Only two companies confirmed they are now paying households who are exporting renewable electricity to the grid. Most said they are not and still have not decided what price per unit they will be offering households. This is despite repeated assurances from Minister Ryan that microgenerators would start being paid by July.
“This is not good enough. It is another example of a ‘kid gloves’ approach by the Minister and the Regulator. These same companies are not slow in raising prices and many are reporting massive profits.
“Those households who invested in solar PV deserve to be paid for the electricity they are producing. We know payments will be backdated when they are made, but we are in the middle of an energy crisis. People need to be paid now.
“In addition, the state is missing an opportunity for positive contagion here. If other households can see they can reduce their electricity bills this way, during this time of skyrocketing energy costs, this will help increase the number of solar PV installations, aiding our overall renewable energy target.
“It is now five years since Sinn Féin introduced our Microgeneration Bill in the Dáil. There is simply no excuse for this ongoing delay.
“Last week, the government set a target of reducing emissions from the electricity sector by 75%, but how will this be achieved if this is the pace of change?
“Minister Ryan and the CRU need to take a hands-on approach to ensure all utility companies start paying microgenerators now for the renewable energy that they are exporting to the grid.”