Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, hosted an event at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin addressing the impact of climate and energy policies on industrial energy consumers. Over one hundred member companies heard from Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White TD on the need to meet ambitious climate and energy targets by 2030, along with a range of other prominent industry and academic speakers.
Speaking in advance of the event Frank Gleeson, Chair of the Ibec Energy Policy Committee and MD Food Services, Aramark said: “Competitive energy prices are crucial for our future economic success. Policy choices in the forthcoming White Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland and meeting our EU-mandated climate and energy targets will directly affect our ability to compete and grow the economy. Ambitious environmental objectives come at a cost and require significant up-front investment. At the same time each and every category of consumer deserves value for money. It is vital the Government devises a programme that meets these objectives in the most cost-effective way possible.”
Referring to impending changes to the all-island electricity market, which are due to take effect over the next two years, Mr Gleeson added: “Most of Ireland’s electricity consumers have felt the benefit of the recent fall in fuel prices. Small manufacturers saw on average a 5% drop in the electricity bills compared same time last year, while medium and large users saw a fall of up to 10% year on year. It is important that the proposed regulatory re-design of the market does not inadvertently drive those prices back up again.”
Ibec is calling on the Government to ensure:
That reform of the EU policy framework for climate change does not unfairly disadvantage Ireland
That the unquestioned social and economic benefits of electricity grid reinforcement are maximised, without incurring unreasonable delays and costs
That the achievement of energy savings through improvement of our building stock is funded in an effective, efficient and fair manner