Irish Daily Mirror


Fury at 74% earnings surge for gas company

- BY JOHN HAND Chief Reporter news@irishmirro­

A GOVERNMENT TD has slammed the massive surge in profits by Bord Gais Energy as an “absurdity” and urged the State to respond.

Fianna Fail backbenche­r Barry Cowen said it is a disgrace that Bord Gais Energy “can make such super profits at a time of such terrible pain”.

The company’s operating profits soared by 74% in the first six months of 2022, with its British parent company Centrica also reporting a massive jump in earnings.

Bord Gais Energy saw profits increase to €39.5m between January and June, compared to €22.7m in the same period of last year.

The company’s customers rose slightly to 513,000, but it said the boosted profits were mainly down to the return to action of the Whitegate power station in Co Cork last December.

The facility was offline for much of 2021 for maintenanc­e, but its reconnecti­on to the grid allowed Bord Gais Energy to benefit more from rising energy prices.

But at a time when consumers are being hit with price surges at every angle, Mr Cowen says it’s unacceptab­le.

He added: “Am I shocked? Yes I am. I have raised serious concerns with the relevant authoritie­s about the Irish wholesale energy market. And that was before the war in Ukraine.”

People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd Barrett also hit out, adding: “Absolutely obscene that while ordinary people are being hammered with spiralling gas and electric prices, the companies like Bord Gais Energy record another staggering increase in profits.

“Yet the government refuses to cap energy prices or cap their profits with a windfall tax.”

Bord Gais Energy is among the energy firms which have hiked prices, and did so three times over the past 12 months.

Uk-based Centrica CEO Chris O’shea said: “We are very aware of the difficult environmen­t many customers are facing and we will continue supporting them.”

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