A motion is set to be brought to the Dáil on Wednesday aiming to reduce energy prices.

The Rural Independent Group wants to see a rigid cap on market revenues of energy companies.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae, who is a member of the group, told The Hard Shoulder more needs to be done.

“I acknowledge and the accept the efforts that have been made by the Government,” he said.

“One problem I would have with the scheme that they introduced – for instance for businesses, and a lot of people don’t realise this –  there is a scheme in the Budget which would be being implemented soon, but in that scheme if your business is being powered partially or in any way by oil you’re not eligible for that rebate scheme.

“What we’re looking to do is to cap energy prices, to tax the super-profits of the energy producers and to give the public a cheaper ESB bill.

“It is within the Government’s remit to do this, and that’s what we’re asking the Government to do.”

‘System is broken’

Deputy Healy-Rae said the current system is not working anymore.

“If we implement electricity price setting… and accept that the Irish current wholesale pricing system is actually broken,” he said.

“We should end the Government practice of having a lucrative long-term deal with energy companies that allows them to inflate prices while obtaining Government subsidies, and at the same time burdening our working-class consumers with absolutely massively high energy bills.

“We should accept that the time for inaction is over, and it is absolutely no longer tenable to hide behind EU rules or regulations.”

How it would work

He explained how the proposed cap would work.

“We’re saying to reduce the electricity consumption by some of the data centres, which consume at present 14% of the national usage.

“We’re looking to introduce a rigid cap on market revenues that the energy producers here receive, from the generation of electricity, and redistribute these funds to the final customers in a targeted way.

“That would immediately bring down the price of the ESB bill that is going to the people’s homes,” he added.