Local TDs to force Dáil debate ‘to keep lights on this winter’

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The Regional Group of TDs is calling for emergency legislation to be introduced to ‘keep the lights on this winter’ and ensure that energy prices are affordable for families and business.

The group, which includes local Independent TDs Denis Naughten, Seán Canney and Noel Grealish, will table a Private Members Motion to be debated when the Dáil resumes in two weeks.

The Regional Group is calling for emergency legislation to provide for a ban on any threat to turn off the electricity supply to domestic customers and critical social infrastructure.

To facilitate this, data centres and other high energy users must be directed to use their emergency backup generators at all times of peak electricity demand.

The group wants to reopen the midland power stations in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge to be fuelled by biomass, and an immediate suspension of the requirement for licences for the felling and thinning of forestry.

They are calling for these measures to be introduced for a period of 36 months until the current electricity supply crisis passes.

Galway East TD Seán Canney says that the reality is that the current crisis has been caused by the mismanagement of electricity supplies, which is now causing serious financial hardship throughout the country.

“We are also demanding that the Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan secure EU wide agreement at the forthcoming Energy Council for the immediate decoupling of the link between gas prices and electricity prices, which are inflating electricity prices whether generated by natural gas or not,” he said.

“Finally, we are calling on the Government to establish an energy support scheme for businesses as some businesses are experiencing a 200%-300% increase in utility costs.”