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Competitive electricity pricing has gone AWOL

Just when we thought it was safe to exit our shelters to a safe economic environment we find the toxic virus of light touch regulation is active and flourishing in the energy supply industry courtesy of the government and its regulator.

In order to encourage new entrants into the marketplace, a series of price increases were sanctioned since deregulation. The purpose was to increase competitive pricing when the critical mass of new entrants was achieved. But the end result is limited competition which benefits new customers only, financed through overcharging of the loyal long-term consumer.

Wholesale energy prices have collapsed but charges to existing customers have remained relatively static, such that a sectional form of cartel of behaviour operates between suppliers in this two-tier system.

For legacy reasons, the principal beneficiary of this nefarious policy is Electric Ireland which services the largest domestic market share. Since deregulation and the closure of showrooms a feeling of disconnection from communities has surfaced, resulting in a significant escalation in complaints. Such is the result of the importation of an American-style ecovirus which has little regard for traditional Irish sensibilities.

Ken Menton,

North Circular Road,

Limerick


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