Paying for Electricity

noisy turbines

I find it extraordinary that a hundred thousand people marched on Dublin about the water charges, and yet despite the fact that the Irish citizen is charged one of the highest electricity prices in the world, we pay our ESB bill without a murmur.

Unlike the water charge, the electricity price affects EVERYBODY, even those with their own well and/or septic tank.

So why are we not shutting down Leinster House in our protest about electricity prices which are subsidising the profits of big business? Why are we not taking to the streets to give vent to our anger about this country’s insane energy policy which is causing a proliferation of private wind farms and monster pylons, paid for by you, which are destroying our health, our environment, our industry, our economy, our very future?

There is an excellent analysis of what and why we pay for our electricity in a must-read blog “The Irish Energy Blog”, which can be found here:

About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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9 Responses to Paying for Electricity

  1. Owen Martin says:

    Thank you Neil for your kind words.

  2. Reblogged this on Deise against Pylons and commented:
    Energy & Water, how the CER will drive up prices in a small state.

  3. Owen Martin says:

    I think the problem is that the electricity market system is so complex that most people do not understand it and simply attribute their high bills to suppliers ripping them off. Part of it is supplier profit, but another large part of is costs that the supplier can do nothing about and are as a direct result of energy policy. These charges are carefully hidden away on bills so nobody will kick up a fuss about charges that they dont know they are paying. You will notice there is very little education from authorities as to what bills are made up of.

    • Neil van Dokkum says:

      I think you are absolutely correct, Owen. It is difficult to understand and untangle the proliferation of greedy paws pushing up electricity prices. The ESB should be a lot more forthcoming in their breakdown of the ESB bill. Perhaps it is a matter for the consumer watchdog to tackle?

      • Owen Martin says:

        Certainly, the consumer watchdog should be taking a role. The Energy Regulator too. They go to great lengths to tell us the misleading fuel mix which appears on the back of energy bills. What consumers need to see is the true cost of a policy that gives so much emphasis on wind energy. Wind energy alters significantly the way in which electricity is generated and delivered to people’s homes. It used to be quite a relatively simple process. All this complexity drives up costs without any meaningful reduction on CO2 emissions or fossil fuel. The suppliers like ESB, Energia etc are taking a hefty cut, no doubt, but I have seen evidence from them complaining to the Regulator about charges relating to wind energy and the resulting added complexity, that they have been forced to pass on to consumers. So I think the Energy Regulator needs to step up and fight for consumers although he will argue that his hands are tied by government.

        We badly need a clear out at the top….

      • Neil van Dokkum says:

        I think that is your challenge. Explain this stuff in a fashion that non-technical people like me understand just how it works.

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