There’s a press release going around today which is mentioned in much of the press regarding the announcement from the Commission for Energy Regulation that gas prices are to drop by 10%.
The press release is available on the CER website here.
Rather than the headline first paragraph, I’m more interested in paragraph 4 which states that “the Commission has reduced the standing charge which will be paid by the average customer from €308.58 per annum to €56.75per annum”.
How come this isn’t making the headlines? For years, it’s been killing me that I have to pay such an enormous standing charge on a very small usage of gas. As put by the CER:
“This will encourage greater energy efficiency as a larger proportion of customer bills will be unit costs, which relate directly to consumption levels. This way a customer also has greater control over the final level of the bill. Lower usage customers may if they wish avail of a tariff that has no standing charge.”
So, while the unit price of gas may go up for gas customers who avail of the tariff without the standing charge, they will really be only then paying for what they use, rather than this large standing charge which they have no control over.I for one think this is a great advancement. I wait in anticipation to see what the new rates will be in detail, and will most likely be moving to the tariff without the standing charge as soon as I can.
Now, can we please have the same for electricity (remove the standing charge there) and road usage (remove the road tax standing charge, and put more tax on petrol) so that we can more move to “pay per use” and put control of costs in the hands of the users themselves?