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Concerns over impact of electricity charges on elderly

There are growing concerns over the impact of increased electricity charges on the elderly in Clare.

It comes ahead of a 27% hike in the public service obligatrion levy this coming autumn.

Clare FM’s Ben Sweeney reports:

The public service obligation levy is set to rise by 27% from October, and if implemented, would bring the annual charge for consumers to just under €100 a year.

The charge, which has risen year-on-year for the past five years, is used to guarantee the price paid for electricity to wind farms, other renewable energy producers and peat-fired plants.

In light of the expected price hike, Clare County Council is calling on the Energy Minister to reduce charges for older people but Sixmilebridge Independent Councillor PJ Ryan believes the elderly should be exempt from the charge altogether.

The Clare branch of St Vincent De Paul wants the Government to review the PSO, so that energy producers take the burden of the charge.

Clare Area President John Cullinan says energy costs are one of the most common issues raised by people contacting the charity.