Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Questions (37)

Seán Kyne

Question:

37. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his plans to examine, in the context of energy efficiency and the economic benefits which can accrue, implementing a system which would reduce the energy bills of small businesses, community groups or schools who install micro-generating wind power turbines in order to reflect the value of the level of unused electricity fed back into the national grid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11498/14]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Currently, a number of supports are available for micro generation for domestic and commercial consumers. As regards domestic customers, Electric Ireland has been offering a micro generation feed in tariff since February 2009. To date no other electricity supplier has chosen to provide such a tariff, to either domestic or commercial customers, though they have been invited by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) to do so. As regards support for micro generation for commercial bodies, tax relief is available on capital investment in micro generation assets under Section 486B of the Tax Consolidation Act (1997) (as amended) and under the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme.

Analysis of the potential of microgeneration technologies such as small scale wind, solar and small scale hydro, has been carried out for my Department by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Their findings are informing consideration of whether it would be cost effective to provide a market support for microgeneration in the context of achieving our EU 2020 target for renewable energy.

Responsibility for the regulation of the electricity and gas markets is a matter for the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), which is an independent statutory body. Therefore, I do not have a statutory function in regard to the setting of electricity tariffs, whether in the regulated or non-regulated market.