Elderly people are being terrorised by massive energy bills as profits soar for the energy providers. Is Eamon Ryan thrilled to see the “chilling effect” of huge bills leading to reduced energy consumption affecting the old and the poor disproportionately?
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Elderly People Terrorised by Massive Energy Bills
Yesterday Sinn Féin TD John McGuirk raised the issue of soaring energy bills in the Dáil.
“I wish to raise with the Taoiseach the cases of two elderly people who have contacted me over the past two days. Kitty from Trim, County Meath, is over 100 years old.”
“Her electricity bill with Electric Ireland from 7 December 2022 to 3 February, 59 days, is €957.49 after all subsidies.”
“I have Kitty’s bill here.
Her previous bill was €133.42. Her electricity usage involves a fridge, a washing machine, an immersion heater, lighting and two electric heaters on timers, with no central heating.”
“Gerry Clarke, 77 years old, from Ballivor, County Meath, told me I could use his name.”
“He received his Electric Ireland bill this week.
It amounts to €1,678.65. His previous bill was for €671, and the one before that was for €290.”
“His bill of €1,678.65 works out at €26.22 a day over 64 days, not the highest price in Europe for domestic use but the highest in the world.”
“Is it any wonder that a third of all households are experiencing energy poverty?”
“The Government and the Minister, Deputy Eamon Ryan, need to get the finger out and deal with these energy companies, which are making massive profits on the back of pensioners and the Irish public in a cost-of-living crisis”.
Last April Glow Power issued Anna Kavanagh, MComapss Media Co-Founder, with a bill for €3,637.
As you can see from the bill below, it was always paid by direct debit and was not in arrears.
Because of the pandemic previous bills were based on an estimated reading.
The last invoice received with an actual reading was the 10th of June 2020 when the day unit price was 13.82 cent and night unit price was 7.1 cent.
“I am Very frugal with energy use and at that time I used storeage heaters believing them to be the greenest option.
I had no disagreement whatsoever with the excess units that I was billed for in the April 2022 bill.”
“My annoyance lay in the fact that I was being charged 56 cents for the day units and 29 cents for nighttime units, some of which would have been consumed in 2020, when the rate ￼was fourfold less.”
“I contacted the office of the energy regulator and found them to be extremely helpful. I was advised that they couldn’t take up my case until I appealed the bill to Glow Power’s complaints department and got an unsatisfactory answer.”
“The complaints department appeared to be located outside of the country, possibly in Asia.”
“To cut a very, long story short, they made me an offer of a bill for €2000 and agreed to accept payment of €200 per month for 10 months.”
“Out of the blue I got a phone call a few months later in October telling me that they would take a once off payment of €1000 to settle the bill.”
“I knew that they were desperate for cash and I offered I was off payment of €800 which they agreed to accept.”
“Thankfully I ended up paying a third of what was demanded in the April bill.”
“My advice to anyone who has received a huge energy bill is to make an official complaint to the energy provider and if you are not happy with the outcome, then escalate the matter to the energy regulator.”