Louth's Fitzpatrick to push for ban on electricity disconnections
Louth TD, Peter Fitzpatrick has said that the current electricity crisis; "caused by the mismanagement of electricity supplies", is causing significant financial hardship to families and businesses throughout County Louth.
On the resumption of the Dáil this month, Deputy Fitzpatrick says he will, alongside the Regional Group of TDs, be forcing a debate for emergency legislation to be introduced to ensure that electricity supply and prices are affordable for families and business this Winter.
In a statement released today, Deputy Fitzpatrick says he will be pushing for this legislation to incorporate a ban on any threat to turn off electricity supply to domestic customers as well as any critical social infrastructure such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools.
The Independent Louth TD says he will insist that legislation should also direct high energy users, such as data centres, to use emergency backup generators at peak electricity demand. On top of this, the Regional Group is recommending that 250 megawatts of power generation from the midland power stations in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge; which he says "are lying idle despite having a ten-year lifespan; should be reopened and fuelled by biomass".
Deputy Fitzpatrick says he will advocate that existing biomass supplies should be supplemented with an immediate suspension of any requirements for licences for the felling and thinning of forestry. Additionally, Fitzpatrick and the Regional Group of TD’s will back the re-commission of Derrybrien Wind Farm and the ringfencing of all profits for a local community and environmental benefit fund. All measures should be implemented for a period of 36 months until we overcome the current electricity supply crisis, he adds.
Electricity prices are inflating whether generated by natural gas or not, believes the Louth TD, and it is on those grounds that he says he will demand that the Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan, secure EU wide agreement at the upcoming Energy Council for the immediate decoupling of the link between gas prices and electricity prices.
Finally, as some businesses are experiencing a 200%-300% increase in utility costs, Deputy Fitzpatrick says he will call on the Government to establish an energy support scheme for businesses.
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