‘Ground hog day’ on energy costs discussions for businesses in the Dáil


Social Democrats Jennifer Whitmore has spoken in the Dáil calling for supports for small businesses operating in Wicklow in light of the rising cost of energy.

As Party Spokesperson on Energy, Deputy Whitmore said, ” it feels like ground hog day. Every few weeks we are talking about energy prices, energy markets and energy failures and the reason why we are still talking about it is that the energy market is no longer fit for purpose. There is a fundamental need for market reform.”

“I have spoken many times in this chamber about the impact this is having on homes and businesses. the difficulties it is causing people. The supports that the government had introduced for businesses is no longer helping the very people it was put in place for. This is the reality of people contacting my office. I spoke recently to a restaurant-café business in Wicklow. The owner said her average monthly bill for electricity in 2021 was €2,000, in 2022 that increased to €4,000, and in February of this year, because she is now out of contract, it increased to €8,900. Such businesses will not survive these price increases”.

“The entire hospitality sector has had a number of setbacks over the previous years with the pandemic and then the energy crisis and despite managing to keep their heads afloat they are now being hit with exorbitant energy costs. This week, two very popular cafés, Mocha Joes in Rathdrum and Little Betty’s in Avoca have closed in the past couple of weeks. They didn’t just serve coffee, they served communities and now they are gone.”

“Unsustainable and unpredictable jumps in energy costs are detrimental to the hospitality sector. Energy providers now require a security deposit of between 5,000 and 7,000 if someone wants to take a new contract in the hospitality sector which is prohibitive for most start-ups.”

“The government needs to take action now before more businesses in Wicklow have to close their doors.” concludes Whitmore.

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