An on-shore electricity price rise of 378% will force boat owners to return to using diesel harbourside generators after notice from DAFM
Fishing boat owners are facing extortionate prices for electricity Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre after the Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine informed them that prices may rise by as much as 378%.
The news from the Department came on 30 November after the Office of Government Procurement (OPG) failed to renew the previous deal with Electric Ireland. The announcement was made by Roi Hawe, the Principal Officer at the Sea Fisheries Administration Division of DAFM on Wednesday 30 November, with the new charges coming into effect on Thursday 01 December 2022.
In the letter the Principal Officer writes:
“Usually, the OGP utilities contracts offer significant protection from the extreme price volatility being experienced in the utilities market currently. However, the OGP has been unable to secure a replacement framework for these electricity contracts.
“The department awaits confirmation of the price for electricity from one December 2022. In the meantime, the OGP has advised that the electricity prices may rise by as much as 378%, based on the 12-month estimate*** (% estimate increase valid as of 12/09/22).
“We will update you when we have further information on this matter.
“In the meantime, please be aware that your organisation may be eligible under the temporary business energy support scheme operated by the revenue commissioners.”
For the majority of vessels, this means returning to harbourside generator sets run on fuel oil, something which Irish Fishing and Seafood Alliance Chairman, Cormac Burke believes as hypocritical, considering the Government’s commitment to green energy and their heavy taxation of carbon emitting fossil fuels. He says:
“At a time when all Irish industry commercial sectors are being told of the importance of operating in a ‘green’ and environmentally friendly manner the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine in Killybegs has placed a temporary price hike of 378% for the electric power supplied to the Killybegs’ pelagic fleet at the town’s main pier.
“This has left vessel owners with no choice other than to return to their on-board diesel-powered generators to provide essential basic power for particular systems whilst lying tied up – and obviously burning fuel 24/7 is less environmentally friendly than being plugged into an electric quayside mains supply.”