Govt must guarantee electricity supplies are not turned off – TD

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Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten has called on the Government to guarantee electricity supplies will not be turned off following reports of older people forking out €1,800 to purchase backup diesel generators.

Deputy Naughten accused the Government of causing panic across the country with people being afraid that their electricity will be switched off this winter.

He said that comments suggesting that the public should not use ovens between 5pm and 7pm are adding to this panic.

“This cannot be allowed to happen, and Government must give a categoric commitment that it will ban any threat to turn off the electricity supply to domestic customers and critical social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and nursing homes.”

The Regional Group of TDs will seek such a ban next week in the Dáil as part of its request for emergency legislation which would oblige data centres and high demand industrial electricity customers to use their backup generators to meet the country’s needs should electricity be in short supply.

“Reports of a dramatic jump in sales of diesel fuelled electricity generators for home use, particularly in urban areas, clearly indicates that older and vulnerable people are afraid their electricity will be switched off this winter. This must never be the case,” said Deputy Naughten.

“These generators are being sold for €1800 and then the homeowner has to pay a registered electrician to have it connected up to their home’s electricity supply, which is a significant investment for many people on fixed incomes.”

The Independent TD said that this is just not good enough, particularly for people who are facing into dramatic increases in their electricity bills.