Electricity Generation

Questions (462)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

462. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in view of the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Government for the support of electricity generated by wind energy from the State, the plans in place to attract wind turbine manufacturing companies to Ireland to set up new operations; the progress that has been made regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8214/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation that UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, and I signed on 24 January will result in completion of consideration of how Irish renewable energy resources, onshore and offshore, might be developed to the mutual benefit of Ireland and the United Kingdom. This will determine whether it is beneficial for both countries to enter into an Inter-Governmental Agreement under the Renewable Energy Directive to provide for renewable energy trading.

If an Inter-Governmental Agreement is entered into, there are potential significant employment opportunities. As an example, employment creation arising from a 3,000 MW project would be expected to be in the order of 3,000 to 6,000 job years in the construction phase, with the actual number dependent on the construction schedule to 2020. There would also be additional jobs created in the ongoing maintenance of turbines over a 20-year operating life. Further employment opportunities could arise if turbines or components were to be manufactured in Ireland. Policy certainly is important in that regard. Additionally, all relevant State agencies, particularly in the enterprise area, would have to coordinate their activities early in the process to ensure employment potential of export projects is maximised. This opportunity has already been identified by the IDA and Enterprise Ireland in their clean technology growth strategies.

Exploration Licences Approvals

Questions (463, 464, 465)

Finian McGrath

Question:

463. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the moneys that have been received to date for each year since 2010, 2011, 2012 from each of the companies that took up an onshore licensing option, with reference to applications made under sections 10 and 11 of the Onshore Petroleum Licensing Notice over the northwest carboniferous basin and the Clare basin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8298/13]

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Finian McGrath

Question:

464. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide an itemised breakdown of payments received from each company for their onshore licensing option; including, dates and amounts of application fees paid for each onshore licensing option; if he will provide further the annual rental fees paid for the areas covered by each onshore licensing option, including a statement and map reference for the designated areas in square kilometres for each option. [8299/13]

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Finian McGrath

Question:

465. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide an itemised breakdown of payments for each company for their petroleum prospecting licence, if any granted, in respect of each onshore licensing option, including dates and amounts of application fees paid for each petroleum prospecting licence required by the conditions of the onshore licensing options and dates and amounts of annual rental fees paid for each petroleum prospecting licence. [8300/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 463 to 465, inclusive, together.

The information sought by the Deputy is set out in the table hereunder, all fees and rentals due have been paid in full. While applications for petroleum prospecting licences were submitted by the companies no such authorisations were granted due to the nature of the work programmes proposed. Maps showing the areas granted to the companies can be viewed at the following link:

http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Natural/Petroleum+Affairs+Division/NW+Carboniferous+and+Clare+Basins/

Company

Enegi

LANGCO

Tamboran

Area

496.83km²

466.50km²

986.45km²

Licensing Option Application Fee

€1,520

(paid 17 June 2010)

€1,520

(paid 17 June 2010)

€1,520

(paid 17 June 2010)

1st Year Rental

€14,370

(paid 28/5/2012)

€13,528

(paid 13/4/2011)

€28,594

(paid 19/5/2011)

2nd Year Rental

€14,370

(paid 11/12/2012)

€13,528

(paid 26/7/2012)

€28,594

(paid 15/5/2012)

Prospecting Licence Application fee

€1,520

(paid 15/6/2011)

€1,520

(paid 13/6/2011)

€1,520

(paid 8/7/2011)

Total

€31,780

€30,096

€60,228

Broadband Services Provision

Questions (466)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

466. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will report on the Irish fibre-to-the-building broadband sector; his views on whether there is sufficient choice available for Irish broadband users in the MDU sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8319/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Approximately €1 billion is being invested in Ireland by existing companies in fibre infrastructure which will deliver broadband speeds of 30 Mbps to 150 Mbps bits per second to most homes and businesses. This investment will provide significant choice to the consumer. While fibre to the home (FTTH) is currently not widely available to homes and multi-dwelling units (MDUs) in Ireland, broadband networks, which are serviced by fibre, are increasingly providing high speed services to the home:

- Eircom is currently investing up to €500 million in a phased deployment of fibre to the cabinet infrastructure, which is planned to make high-speed broadband available to 1.15 million premises by December 2014. The network has already reached more than 200,000 premises and is expected to be launched in 2013,

- UPC is investing €500 million its cable and fibre network, which is delivering speeds of up to 150 Mbps to homes and MDUs. UPC Aims to have this service available to 700,000 homes by 2015.

- BT is trialling Fibre to the Cabinet technologies that will deliver broadband at up to 80 Mbps. BT provides this infrastructure to Vodafone and Sky.

- Mobile telecommunications operators will be rolling out advanced mobile broadband products in 2013, following the recent multi-band spectrum auction with the explosion in the use of smart phones and tablet devices, the use of advanced mobile broadband is of increasing significance and it is expected that fibre connections will be required to service many of the base stations that transmit mobile signals.

Many of these developments were signaled in the Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August last. The commercial market operators indicated that they expect to provide 70 Mbps to 100 Mbps services to 50% of the population by 2015. The Government is also committed in the Plan to investing in areas where high speed services are not commercially viable and will not be provided by the market. My Department is making preparations to commence a formal national mapping exercise to identify where the market is expected to succeed and fail in the delivery of high speed broadband over the coming years. This will inform the level of Government interaction that may be required and the areas that need to be targeted for a State-led investment. It will also form a critical input to an EU State Aid application in respect of any State-led intervention.

Through the implementation of the National Broadband Plan, we are committed to increasing the availability of next generation speeds significantly, with a view to ensuring that all citizens and business can participate fully in a digitally enabled society. In this context, the Government is committed to the delivery of the speeds referred to in the Plan, to ensure that all parts of Ireland will have at least 30 Mbps connectivity.

Broadband Services Provision

Questions (467)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

467. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if Eircom have plans to upgrade an exchange located in Cloghan, County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8344/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Decisions by private operators relating to investment in infrastructure to provide broadband services, includinging the upgrading of an exchange, are taken purely on commercial grounds, having regard to the cost of service provision and the anticipated revenue returns from any such investment. The Deputy will appreciate therefore, that I do not have a statutory authority to direct commercial companies in this regard.

Telecommunications Services Provision

Questions (468)

Jack Wall

Question:

468. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views on a submission regarding telephone rental (details supplied); the actions planned as a result of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8509/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

In June 2012 the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) extended until June 2014, a universal service obligation (USO) addressed to Eircom, which among other things, requires that line rental for basic fixed line telephone services is available to end users at a standard geographically averaged price across the country. There are no proposals to amend this obligation. Moreover, following public comments suggesting that Eircom had made an application to ComReg to reduce the line rental charge to retail customers in cities and towns which, if granted, would result in a two-tier line rental charging structure contrary to its USO, Eircom contacted my Department to confirm it fully respects its obligation to operate a standard geographically averaged retail line rental charge and that it has made no contrary submission to ComReg.

Radio Spectrum Management

Questions (469)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

469. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the amount of moneys raised by last November's multi-band spectrum auction that have been paid into the Exchequer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8512/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The management of the radio spectrum is a statutory function of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) under the Communications Regulation Act, 2002 as amended. ComReg recently announced the winning bidders of its Multi-band Spectrum Auction for the 800, 900 and 1800 MHz bands. I can confirm that ComReg transferred the amount of €450M, in respect of upfront fees accruing from its Multi-band Spectrum Auction, to the Exchequer on Friday, 14 December 2012. The remainder of the fees will be paid on an annual basis over the duration of the terms of the licences.

Renewable Energy Generation Issues

Questions (470)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

470. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the measures which will be promoted during the Irish Presidency of the European Union to encourage positive discrimination towards renewable energy as the favoured means of energy production with the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8590/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

There are a number of important files to be progressed by the Irish Presidency in relation to the promotion of renewable energy. The Council conclusions on last year’s Commission renewable energy communication invited the Commission to present non-binding guidance to further improve national support schemes in order to achieve further cost reduction and market integration, as well as separate guidance on the implementation of the cooperation mechanisms provided for in the Renewable Energy Directive. The Commission is expected to publish its report in May and the Irish Presidency will facilitate discussions on it. The Energy Council in June will deliver Council conclusions on the Internal Energy Market Communication. This communication sets out actions to drive towards the achievement of the internal market for energy. The aim of achieving this internal market is to benefit customers, promote competition, achieve sustainability of supply and to decarbonise the electricity industry through increased renewable energy penetration and the improvement of infrastructure.

Another area to be progressed during the Presidency is the revision of the Energy Tax Directive in order to promote energy efficiency and use of more environmentally friendly energy sources including renewable sources.

The Irish Presidency is also progressing discussions on the proposal to amend the Renewable Energy Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive to take into account the indirect land use change impacts of biofuels. These proposals include measures which would incentivise the production and use of next generation biofuels. There will be orientation debates at the February Energy Council and March Environment Council and it is the Presidency's aim to produce a Progress Report for both Councils in June. Finally, last month the Commission published a draft Directive on the Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure. The aim of this proposed directive is to reduce dependency on oil throughout the EU by ensuring that adequate infrastructure is available in Member States both for the supply of alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas, hydrogen and biofuels and for the charging of Electric Vehicles. The Commission will present on its proposal at the Transport Council on 11 March and there will be a first exchange of views by Member States.

Broadband Services Provision

Questions (471)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

471. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the cut of €7 billion from the €9.2 billion earmarked by the EU to meet the digital agenda goals of 100Mbps for half of Europe will have any impact on the Government's national broadband plan, especially in rural Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8632/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

On 8 February the European Council reached an agreement on the EU Budget Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-20. The Regulation will now be the subject of agreement by the Council and requires the consent of the European Parliament before it is adopted. While the proposed cut to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is regrettable, I do not anticipate that there will be any significant impact on Ireland’s ambitious plans, as set out last year in the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP). The plan aims to ensure that all premises in the country, irrespective of location, will have access to high-speed broadband in line with the targets set by the EU in the Digital Agenda for Europe. It did not specifically envisage support from the CEF, which is targeted at enhancing the case for commercial investment.

As the NBP outlines, most of the investment in broadband roll-out is expected to come from the private sector and there is strong evidence of this investment now taking place. For example, both UPC and eircom have ongoing ambitious capital investment plans and the mobile operators in the Irish market recently made very significant investments in acquiring newly-released spectrum which was auctioned by ComReg and will be used to roll out advanced mobile broadband services. The State will only intervene in those parts of the country which are not deemed commercially viable for commercial investment. My Department has recently advertised for technical, economic and financial assistance to identify this market gap and design an appropriate procurement process, in line with the ambition as expressed in the NBP.

Exploration Licences Approvals

Questions (472)

Michael McNamara

Question:

472. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources when the Environmental Protection Agency's final report on fracking will be published; if he will entertain applications for exploratory licences in advance of the report's publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8643/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I have made it clear on a number of occasions that any application for an exploration licence that proposed the use of hydraulic fracturing as part of an unconventional gas exploration programme would be subject to a full environmental impact assessment. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) entails consideration of the potential impacts of a project on population, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climatic factors, material assets, including the architectural and archaeological heritage, landscape and the inter-relationship between the above factors. Under the EIA Directive, it is not possible to permit a project unless it can be determined following assessment that it would not have an unacceptable environmental or social impact. In this context, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has commenced a process to issue a public call inviting interested parties to tender for the offer of funding from both the EPA Strive Programme and my Department to conduct detailed research on the use of Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction in Ireland, in particular with regard to the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology. The study follows on from the preliminary research into the environmental aspects of shale gas extraction, conducted by the University of Aberdeen, which was published by the EPA in May 2012.

The proposed terms of reference for this study have been developed and are currently the subject of a Public Consultation Process which was launched on 11 January 2013. Interested parties have been invited to submit written comments by 8 March 2013. Further details are available from the EPA website (www.epa.ie). The final results of this study are expected in early 2015. As I have confirmed to the House on a number of previous occasions, no decision will be made on any proposal for the use of hydraulic fracturing in exploration drilling in Ireland until there has been time to consider the outcome of this further EPA research.

Broadband Services Provision

Questions (473)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

473. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if, with regard to the delivery of the national broadband plan, his Department has completed its engagement with the commercial service providers to identify those parts of the country which the commercial market will serve; if not, when he expects such engagement to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8715/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

During the preparation of the National Broadband Plan which I published in August last, the commercial market operators indicated that they expect to provide 70 Mbps to 100 Mbps services to 50% of the population by 2015. The commercial sector is already making these investments in high speed services, particularly in urban and semi-urban areas. The Government is committed in the Plan to investing in areas where high speed services are not commercially viable and will not be provided by the market. My Department is making preparations to commence a formal national mapping exercise to identify where the market is expected to succeed and fail in the delivery of high speed broadband over the coming years. This will inform the level of Government interaction that may be required and the areas that need to be targeted for a State-led investment. It will also form a critical input to an EU State Aid application in respect of any State-led intervention.

In an important milestone towards delivery of the commitments in the Plan, the Government recently launched a tender for experts to assist in the design, planning and procurement of the State-led investment. Intensive technical, financial and legal preparations including stakeholder engagement will be on-going throughout 2013 with a view to the launch of a procurement process in 2014. Through the implementation of the National Broadband Plan, we are committed to increasing the availability of next generation speeds significantly, with a view to ensuring that all citizens and business can participate fully in a digitally enabled society. I would reiterate that the Government remains committed to the delivery of the speeds referred to in the Plan, to ensure that all parts of Ireland will have at least 30 Mbps connectivity.

Energy Prices

Questions (474)

Michael Creed

Question:

474. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if his attention has been drawn to a request by Bord Gáis Networks to the Commission for Energy Regulation for an increase in tariffs; his plans to resist such a proposal bearing in mind the fragile nature of the domestic and non-domestic market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8731/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Responsibility for the regulation of the gas market, including the setting of certain gas tariffs, is a matter for the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) which is an independent statutory body. Network costs are reviewed every five years and used to establish maximum allowed revenues for BGÉ's transmission and distribution activities for a given year of the five-year period. The allowed revenues are used to determine the network tariff for each year. In August 2012, the CER published a Decision Paper on gas transmission revenue and tariffs for the period October 2012 to September 2013. This Decision has resulted in increases in the transmission tariff paid by shippers. These increases were based on the forecast bookings for capacity submitted in April 2012 by Bord Gáis Networks (BGN), based on demand estimates. Since then there has been a persistent decline in primary capacity bookings on the gas transmission system. This, in turn, puts further upward pressure on unit tariffs required to remunerate investments in the system. In November 2012, the CER published its decision on the 5 Year Gas Networks Tariff Review (PC3) which set the revenues BGN is allowed over the period. The decision took account of the emerging significant reductions in forecast primary bookings supplied by BGN. These forecasts indicated a fall of approximately 18% in bookings from BGN’s original forecast for the five year period of the review.

The CER is currently undertaking an interim review of BGN Allowed Revenues and gas transmission tariffs for 2012/2013, as determined in the August 2012 decision. A consultation is currently under way and will close on 22 February. The review involves detailed assessment of BGN’s own recent proposals, followed by a consultation on the CER’s proposed decision which envisages a 13.2% increase in the transmission tariff with effect from April 2013. While some increase in the transmission tariff charged by BGN to shippers with effect from April 2013 may be unavoidable, it is not anticipated at this stage that there will be an increase in the regulated retail tariff to end customers from April. The CER will also be consulting on a number of other means of addressing the decline in the primary bookings on the transmission system which has persisted and indeed grown in recent times.

Energy Conservation

Questions (475, 476, 477, 478, 479, 480, 481)

Seamus Kirk

Question:

475. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will outline the details of the voluntary agreements between the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and nine energy suppliers, announced in March 2012 relating to energy saving targets for energy suppliers; his views on whether enough is being done by the energy suppliers to tackle energy reduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8782/13]

View answer

Seamus Kirk

Question:

476. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will outline by individual energy supplier, the specific energy reduction targets achieved per quarter to date, under the energy saving targets for energy suppliers scheme; his views on whether the overall targets will be achieved by the end of the three year cycle in 2013; the penalties that will apply per energy supplier if the targets are not met based on current targets achieved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8783/13]

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Seamus Kirk

Question:

477. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will outline by individual energy supplier, the specific energy reduction targets achieved solely in the residential sector per quarter to date under the energy saving targets for energy suppliers scheme; his views on whether the overall targets will be achieved by the end of the three year cycle in 2013; the penalties that will apply per energy supplier, based on current targets achieved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8784/13]

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Seamus Kirk

Question:

478. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in view of the ending of grants from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, if he has met with the energy suppliers, to discuss legally binding targets for energy reduction measures for the residential sector; his views on the progress from the energy suppliers in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8785/13]

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Seamus Kirk

Question:

479. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide an update on the better energy programme, specifically with regard to formal targets on energy suppliers to reduce their customer's household emissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8786/13]

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Seamus Kirk

Question:

480. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will outline in tabular form the approved Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland measures for residential properties to help achieve Ireland’s carbon reduction targets; if he will include, in tabular form, the cost per kWh for energy suppliers to achieve his targets, using the following measures, solar panels, external wall insulation, internal wall insulation, heating control upgrade, roof insulation, cavity wall insulation, remote control heating; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8787/13]

View answer

Seamus Kirk

Question:

481. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the date on which he proposes to introduce legislation that requires energy suppliers to offer homeowners energy saving products as part of European Union targets; if the legislation will contain penalties for failure to comply with this; what those penalties will be; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8788/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 475 to 481, inclusive, together.

The Better Energy programme is Ireland’s national energy efficiency upgrade programme, for which specific targets for energy savings are set out in the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP).

The NEEAP emphasises the role of market actors in facilitating the delivery of energy savings, with the introduction of energy saving targets for energy suppliers a key measure underpinning the delivery of the 2020 energy saving target. It is unlikely that Ireland’s 2020 energy and climate change targets can be met through the provision of state incentives alone. A move to a market-based programme is a logical step in mainstreaming energy efficiency within the energy supply sector in line with EU ambitions.

Energy suppliers have the option of either signing a voluntary energy savings agreement with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) or being subject to a statutory Energy Efficiency Notice issued under the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012.

The following 16 energy supply companies have signed voluntary energy savings agreements in lieu of an Energy Efficiency Notice for the period 2011-2013:

- Airtricity

- Bord Gáis Energy

- Bord na Móna

- Energia

- Electric Ireland

- VAYU

- Irish Petroleum Industry Association (includes ConocoPhillips, ESSO, Inver, Maxol, Valero, Tedcastles, Topaz)

- Calor

- Arigna Fuels

- Stafford Fuels.

Energy suppliers that have signed voluntary agreements with the SEAI are known as Participating Energy Suppliers (PES). These companies account for over 90% of the overall Energy Supplier Target that needs to be achieved by the end of 2013. The SEAI is in the process of finalising the 2013 Annual Plans from these companies. The Department and the SEAI are also in discussions with a small number of additional energy suppliers who have not yet finalised voluntary agreements.

A three year programme target of 2,000GWh was set for the period 2011-2013; to be achieved by a combination of energy supplier-led initiatives and SEAI programme activity. The target for 2011 was 500GWh, which was met (533GWh were delivered). The combined target for 2012 and 2013 is 750GWh.

It is not possible to provide the specific energy savings achieved by individual energy suppliers, as targets are based on commercially sensitive energy sales data, provided to the SEAI for analysis on a confidential basis. Table 1 provides a breakdown of energy savings, as opposed to CO2 savings, achieved by sector on an annual basis for all savings achieved; Table 2 provides a breakdown of energy savings achieved by sector for savings achieved in the residential sector. Projects from 2009-2011 were bundled into one group as energy suppliers were permitted to report historic savings and count these against the 2011 target.

The energy credits available for each measure in residential properties is outlined at Table 3.

It is not possible at this time to provide a cost per kWh for energy suppliers to achieve their target, as this will vary depending on the delivery method and the sector. However, the Department and the SEAI are engaged in an economic analysis of the programme at present.

Information supplied by the SEAI shows that 81% of the target for 2011 and 2012 was achieved by the end of 2012. While this is a positive start, and indicative of a start-up period during which energy suppliers had to set up internal systems, there will need to be a substantial increase in engagement from energy suppliers in 2013 in order to achieve the necessary energy savings targets.

Legislation is already in place requiring energy suppliers to offer homeowners energy saving products. Where a Participating Energy Supplier is not complying or is not likely to comply with the terms of a voluntary agreement, the Minister may revoke his approval of a voluntary agreement and issue an energy efficiency notice under Section 11 of the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012. In this case, or in cases where a voluntary agreement between an energy supplier and the SEAI is not in place, the provisions of Section 11 (2) allow the Minister to require the energy supplier to take appropriate steps to address the deficiency.

Failure to comply satisfactorily with an energy efficiency notice may result in the Minister issuing a direction under Section 11 (7), specifying the remedial action the energy supplier should take and the timeframe this should be completed in. In the event of continued non-compliance following a direction, the Minister may apply to the High Court for an order directing the energy supplier to comply with the direction.

The publication of the Energy Efficiency Directive in November 2012 provides for Member States to establish Energy Supplier Obligation Schemes. This is a standing item for discussion with energy suppliers at the quarterly governance meeting chaired by my Department. Decisions on a replacement for the existing programme, including mandatory targets, will be informed by the economic analysis currently being undertaken, performance of the energy suppliers and the distance to target that remains to be delivered at the end of 2013. I expect to be in a position to communicate my decision regarding the replacement programme later this year.

Table 1 - Energy savings achieved by sector

Industry Sector*

2011 (GWh)

2012 (GWh)

Total (GWh)

Electricity

96.43

55.67

152.09

Gas

53.07

25.52

78.59

Oil

13.15

50.02

63.17

Solid Fuel

27.2

49.56

76.76

Total

189.85

180.77

370.62

*As industry is split into sectors depending on their majority business, a company which sells 60% electricity and 40% gas is recorded as electricity.

Table 2 – Domestic and non-domestic energy savings

-

2011 (GWh)

2012 (GWh)

Total (GWh)

Domestic

28

32.89

60.89

Electricity

4.35

7.67

12.02

Gas

21.66

0.13

21.79

Oil

-

24.6

24.6

Solid Fuel

1.99

0.48

2.48

Non-Domestic

161.84

147.88

309.71

Electricity

92.08

47.99

140.07

Gas

31.41

25.39

56.8

Oil

13.15

25.42

38.57

Solid Fuel

25.2

49.07

74.27

Total

189.84

180.76

370.62

Table 3 – Energy Saving Credits

Measure

Minimum Specification - All measures installed must meet the minimum specification listed below

Roof Insulation

Insulation as per TGD L 2008

- On the ceiling to U-Value 0.16 W/m²K

- On the rafter to 0.2 W/m²K

- On flat roofs to 0.22 W/m²K

External Wall Insulation

To U-Value 0.27 W/m²K as per TGDL 2008

Internal Dry Lining Wall Insulation

To U-Value 0.27 W/m²K as per TGDL 2008

Cavity Wall Insulation

To U-Value 0.50 W/m²K

Floor Insulation

To U-Value 0.36 W/m²K 

Full Window Replacement (incl doors with > 60% glazing)

To U-Value 1.4 W/m²K

Window glazing envelope replacement

(includes doors with > 60% glazing)

Minimum glazing envelopes U-Value 2.1 W/m²K

External Door Replacement

To U-Value 1.4 W/m²K

High Efficiency Gas or Oil fired Boiler with Fully integrated  Heating Controls Upgrade

90%+ Boiler gross seasonal efficiency as per HARP database, full zone control on space and water heating, with at least 2 zones for space heating as recommended in TGD L 2008 and 80mm hot water cylinder insulating jacket

High Efficiency Gas or Oil fired Boiler with Fully integrated  Heating Controls Upgrade with remote access

90%+ Boiler gross seasonal efficiency as per HARP database, full zone control on space and water heating, with at least 2 zones for space heating as recommended in TGD L 2008 and 80mm hot water cylinder insulating jacket.

Programmer to have capacity to adjust heating schedule remotely via Web or SMS

Fully integrated Heating Controls Upgrade

Full zone control on space and water heating, with at least 2 zones for space heating as recommended in TGD L 2008

Fully integrated Heating Controls Upgrade with remote access

Full zone control on space and water heating, with at least 2 zones for space heating as recommended in TGD L 2008.

Programmer to have capacity to adjust heating schedule remotely via Web or SMS

High Efficiency Gas or Oil fired Boiler with Entry Level Heating Controls Upgrade

90%+ Boiler gross seasonal efficiency as per HARP database, 24hr/7day programmer and room thermostat

High Efficiency Gas or Oil fired Boiler with remote access Entry Level Heating Controls Upgrade

90%+ Boiler gross seasonal efficiency as per HARP database, 24hr/7day programmer and room thermostat

Programmer to have capacity to adjust heating schedule remotely via Web or SMS

Entry Level Heating Controls Upgrade only

24 hour 7 day programmer & room thermostat

Entry Level Heating Controls Upgrade only with remote access

24 hour 7 day programmer & room thermostat

Programmer to have capacity to adjust heating schedule remotely via Web or SMS

Solid Fuel Room Heater (without back boilers)

65%+ gross seasonal efficiency

Solar Water Heating Installation

Sized and installed in accordance with SR 50-2

Mechanically-assisted powered cleanse and flush (powerflushing) of system

- Boiler Service to Manufactures instructions / SEAI checklist

- Mechanically-assisted powered cleanse and flush (powerflushing) of system to BS 7593

Mechanically-assisted powered cleanse and flush (powerflushing) of system and Installation of magnetic filtration system to existing heating system

-Boiler Service to Manufactures instructions / SEAI checklist

-Mechanically-assisted powered cleanse and flush (powerflushing) to BS 7593 before installation Magnetic filtration

-Installation of magnetic filtration to existing heating system to SR 50-1 Code of Practice for building services –Part 1: Domestic plumbing and heating

Chimney draught limiter

Permanent mechanically fixed Chimney draught limiter

Product to conform to BS 1251 and BS 3376

Oil Boiler Service

To Manufactures instructions / SEAI checklist

LPG Boiler service

To Manufactures instructions / SEAI checklist

Natural Gas Boiler service

To Manufactures instructions / SEAI checklist

CFL

Per set of tungsten lights replaced (5 no. CFLs per set)

LED

Per set of tungsten lights replaced (5 no. LEDs per set)

After BER

BER to be completed after efficiency measures have been implemented

Telecommunications Services Provision

Questions (482)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

482. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views on correspondence regarding fixed line charges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8798/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Telecommunications services providers operate in a fully liberalised market. Neither I nor the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), the market regulator, has statutory authority to impose regulated maximum retail price limits on service providers operating in a competitive market. ComReg does have statutory authority to impose a universal service obligation (USO) on one or more service providers to ensure all reasonable requests for a basic set of telecommunications service are available at fixed locations throughout the State. The current USO, which is addressed to Eircom, limits the amount by which telephone line charges can be increased to the annual change in the consumer price index and includes the operation of a low usage scheme "eircom vulnerable user scheme", which can benefit users who have consistently low usage charges, currently less than €17.21 per month.