EVEN if the ESB seeks a price increase lower than the rumoured 30% it would impose a significant burden on families struggling with soaring fuel costs.
Already this week Sustainable Energy Ireland pointed out that domestic energy use has grown by 70% since 1990. It is not possible to sustain that growth. We must manage supply and demand more effectively.
Every household needs electricity but a lot of energy is wasted because of suboptimal buildings and non-essential usage.
Maybe we need tiered pricing; a basic rate for a basic supply based on house occupancy. Of course if you want to run four plasma screens, heat the hot-tub and grow orchids that’s your prerogative — for a while more anyway — but surely you should pay more for non-essential usage?
After all it’s the same principle we apply to paying tax and it would allow the ESB to offer cheaper power to vulnerable families. But most of all, tiered pricing might force us to mend our ways.
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