Requests by the ESB and Bord Gáis to raise energy charges from January 1 have been condemned by Mayo hoteliers as outrageous and blatantly insulting to Irish industry in its present economic state. The Mayo Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF ) states that seeking increases at a time of economic crisis is out of step with the reality of Ireland’s worsening economic conditions and that no increases will be acceptable to the IHF and its 1,000 members throughout the country who are seriously struggling to survive. The federation states that the government needs to intervene urgently to stop any electricity or gas price increases and show clear leadership to support Irish industry in dealing with its current serious challenges.
According to John Raftery, chairman of IHF Mayo Branch: “It is madness that these monopolies can simply be allowed to carry on functioning as if the current economic conditions do not exist and have no impact on their models for price increases. The ESB and Bord Gáis are State-owned companies and if they themselves do not do so, they should be instructed by government, their shareholder, to immediately find avenues to avoid increases and to expedite a reduction in their current charges.
“It is absolutely ridiculous that organisations such as the ESB and Bord Gáis should hold the country to ransom in an environment where international oil prices have more than halved in the last two months. It should not be even considering an increase. The Commission on Energy Regulation must stipulate to ESB and Bord Gáis that any shortfalls be offset by greater efficiencies, reductions in their domestic cost base and a re-examination of capital expenditure as a temporary measure until the economy stabilises.”