Denis Naughten TD is calling on the Government to give a categoric commitment that electricity supplies will not be turned off to homes across the country following reports of older people forking out €1,800 to purchase backup diesel generators.
“The Government and the regulator, the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, have caused panic across the country particularly among older people and those with medical appliances, such a dialysis machines, who are afraid that their electricity will be switched off this winter,” stated Denis Naughten.
“Comments suggesting that the public should not use ovens between 5 and 7pm are adding to this panic.
“This cannot be allowed to happen, and Government must give a categoric commitment that it will ban any threat to turn off the electricity supply to domestic customers and critical social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and nursing homes.”
The Regional Group of TDs will seek such a ban next week in the Dáil as part of its request for emergency legislation – the Energy Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act – which would oblige data centres and high demand industrial electricity customers to use their backup generators to meet the country’s needs should electricity be in short supply.
“Reports of a dramatic jump in sales of diesel fuelled electricity generators for home use, particularly in urban areas, clearly indicates that older and vulnerable people are afraid their electricity will be switched off this winter. This must never be the case,” said Denis Naughten
“These generators are being sold for €1800 and then the homeowner has to pay a registered electrician to have it connected up to their home’s electricity supply, which is a significant investment for many people on fixed incomes.
“This is just not good enough, particularly for people who are facing into dramatic increases in their electricity bills, partly as a result of the Government buying in its own diesel generators to back up the growing electricity demand for data centres and large industrial users,” concluded Denis Naughten.
RTE report on generators: https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2022/0906/1320885-generator-ireland-sales/
The Regional Group will be debating a motion in Dáil Eireann next week seeking to enact legislation “Energy Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act” to address the current supply deficit to: This emergency legislation should provide for
- a ban on any threat to turn off the electricity supply to domestic customers and critical social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes,
- To facilitate this Data centres & other high energy users must be directed to use their emergency backup generators at all times of peak electricity demand.
- Immediately reopen 250 megawatts of power generation at the midland power stations in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge to be fuelled by biomass, which are presently lying idle despite a 10-year lifespan being left in both of those plants.
- The existing biomass supplies should be supplemented with an immediate suspension of the requirement for licenses for the felling and thinning of forestry.
- Re-commission Derrybrien Wind Farm and ringfence all profits for a local community & environmental benefit fund.
- Exempt planning for rooftop flush mounted solar PV panels on domestic, agricultural, and commercial buildings
These measures should be introduced for a period of 36 months until we overcome the current electricity supply crisis.