The Irish government has recently launched a nationwide public information campaign to encourage households and businesses to be more energy efficient, and also draw better attention to the financial support available. The ‘Reduce Your Use’ campaign specifically aims to combat the recent price hikes which have impacted and harmed both homes and businesses across Ireland.
The price of energy has rarely been higher. Brought on by the combined effects of the COVID19 pandemic and the current conflict in Eastern Europe, wholesale prices for electricity, gas and oil are still on the rise, and thus, energy suppliers’ customers will continue to feel the sting of this prices.
The Irish government therefore has rightly considered this to be the time to step in with both financial support schemes and helpful advice for both businesses and households alike.
Useful energy advice
The campaign’s advice has been provided by experts at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and focuses on “practical and evidence-based” actions which will “save the most money and energy”. The advice, in particular, looks at four specific areas:
- Heating: Use timers and thermostats to heat your home and hot water when you need and to the temperature you need
- Appliances: Use cookers, tumble dryers, washing machines, showers and kettles efficiently and where possible outside peak hours of 4-7pm
- Travel: Avoid use of the car for short journeys; consider walking, cycling or public transport where available
- Driving: Drive at lower speeds, where safe and practical, to reduce your fuel use
Further tips and information will be available on the SEAI website.
Aside from the advice on cutting back and being more efficient, the campaign also aims to draw attention to the financial support available to households and businesses. These include both energy efficiency grants for various industries and homes, and reductions in VAT across domestic electricity accounts.
The full list is:
- 80% grants for attic and cavity wall insulation which will save the average house approximately €300 from the first year
- €200 (including VAT) as a credit for all domestic electricity accounts
- A reduction in VAT from 13.5% to 9% on gas and electricity bills from the start of May until the end of October, leading to estimated savings of €32 (electricity) and €11 (gas) on an average bill over six months
- A reduction to zero of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy on electricity bills, leading to estimated savings of €59 from October of this year
- An Excise Duty reduction on fuel – 20c/L for petrol; 15c/L for diesel; 4.7c/L for marked gas oil / green diesel
- An increase in the Fuel Allowance of €355 – equating to €5/week, plus additional payments totalling €225
- An €8 million support fund for hauliers, providing €100 for each lorry for eight weeks
- Plus a committed €20 million in supports – for solar PV (Photo Voltaic) panels for households that have a high reliance on electricity for medical reasons
For more information on the campaign, read about it here.
The campaign should also have a positive effect on the environment. According to the latest advice from the IPCC report on climate change (published 4th April this year), energy efficiency may have as much of an impact on reducing emissions as 40-70% by 2050.
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Act was passed back in July 2021, and outlines current air pollution targets of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030.
If you are interested in cutting down your bills in another way, switching your energy deal might be the fastest and easiest thing to do today. In fact, customers who switch energy deals with Power to Switch on average save €470 on their annual bills. Try it for yourself today with Power to Switch.