But why has Ireland the highest electricity prices?

We’re suffering the highest electricity prices in Europe according to this article last week in the Irish Times for one particular reason:

IRELAND HAS the highest electricity prices in Europe for many businesses and domestic consumers, largely due to a dependence on electricity generated from fossil fuels, according to a new report.

And not only that, prices are increasing faster in Ireland than anywhere else in Europe:

Electricity costs the Irish domestic consumer 20 per cent more than the EU average, according to the report by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), and some industrial customers are paying up to 52 per cent above the EU average.

Can I propose an alternative reason?

We have no competition for the ESB in the electricity market, and hence we’re being gouged on price because they can charge what they like, and are ably assisted by the useless Commission for Energy Regulation.

Have a look here to see the state of electricity competition in the Irish domestic market – with little or no change since 2005.

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One Response to But why has Ireland the highest electricity prices?

  1. valueireland March 1, 2009 at 21:58 #

    @Frank – thanks for the links. We’ve covered the electricity costs and Bord Gais Energy in more recent posts. With the 14% BGE decrease, and the expected 10-15% ESB decreases, it’s looks like we’ll get our electricity a lot cheaper in 2009. But potentially still some of the highest in Europe.

    There was an interesting comment from Conor Pope on Marianne Finucane yesterday morning where he said that the main reason for the higher electricity costs in Ireland (as set / approved by the CER (essentially the Government) was to make it attractive for competitors to enter the market.

    Now we’re seeing those competitors in BGE and Airtricity, but we’re still paying more than most.

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