Irish consumers warned to stock up on heating fuels ahead of carbon tax rise

By Charlie Weston

CONSUMERS have been warned to buy heating fuels now ahead of carbon tax hikes coming into effect at the end of the month.

The cost of gas, home-heating oil, coal and briquettes will rise on May 1 due to a rise in the tax.

There is no carbon tax imposed on electricity, but the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy that is in place mainly to cover the cost of subsidising wind energy rose by €50 a year in October.

The higher carbon tax comes at a time when most energy providers have increased the cost of domestic gas.

Budget 2021 saw the carbon tax rise from €26 a tonne to €33.50. The implementation of higher carbon tax on petrol and diesel was immediate, but the increase in heating fuels was delayed until May.

A home-heating oil fill will be €19 dearer as a result of the carbon tax rise in May. Carbon tax then will account for €84 of the cost of filling a 900-litre tank.

Increased carbon tax will add €18 to the annual cost of gas, taking the total carbon tax to €79 over a year, according to calculations by price comparison site Bonkers.ie.

Another 17c will be added to the cost of a bale of peat briquettes, with the tax set to add 76c to the cost of a bale.

A 40kg bag of coal will be 79c dearer, with the tax set to account for €3.52 of the cost.

“With all that’s going on right now due to Covid and with hundreds of thousands of people struggling on the PUP, this Government tax increase couldn’t have come at a worse time,” said Daragh Cassidy of price comparison site Bonkers.ie.

He said gas prices have been increased by several suppliers in recent weeks by up to 6.5pc, meaning it’s a real double whammy for some.

“There is still some debate worldwide as to whether a carbon tax is effective at reducing CO2 emissions by households, in particular given people still need to heat their homes and use energy for the most basic of day-to-day tasks.

“However, one thing that we do know is that the tax has raised around €4bn since it was first introduced and many hard-pressed Irish consumers will be asking themselves where that money has gone and what environmental initiatives have actually been achieved since the tax was first introduced.”

Academic studies have found that carbon tax affects those on lower incomes and rural dwellers the most.

This article appeared on the Independent.ie website at https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/latest-news/consumers-warned-to-stock-up-on-heating-fuels-ahead-of-carbon-tax-rise-40307953.html