PSO Levy: How Much Is the PSO Levy in 2024?

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The PSO levy has been an added extra charge on electricity bills since 2010. However, with the energy crisis making the cost of living more and more expensive, the PSO was reduced to give customers some breathing room in 2022. In our PSO levy guide, we walk you through what it is, why it was reduced, and how much the PSO levy is in 2023.

What Is the PSO Levy?

electricity bill

The Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy is a tariff imposed on all electricity customers. It's goal is to help pay towards Ireland's renewable energy objectives and is included as an extra tax along with VAT. From the 30 September 2023, the PSO Levy is set at €0.00 per year, increasing from the negative figure it was from -€97.12. The PSO Levy is different from the carbon tax which is only levied on natural gas customers.

How Does the Government Work Out the PSO Levy?

The government sets the level of the PSO levy each year either increasing or decreasing it accordingly. Due to the volatility of energy markets, the PSO levy rate is usually determined by a number of factors in order to keep up with the general conditions, but the most important is the wholesale price of electricity.

Why Do We Have a PSO Levy?

The PSO levy is important because it helps invest in renewable energy and allows for renewable energy producers to receive a guaranteed minimum price. This is vital since renewable energy is a very volatile business venture and having a guaranteed price allows for Ireland’s renewable energy market to remain stable.

Who Pays the PSO Levy?

The PSO levy is charged to all electricity customers. It is applied directly to your electricity bill and is paid over the course of the year so it’s not all in one go. At the previous domestic rate of -€97.12, Irish electricity customers were receiving a rebate of €8.09 on their energy bills every month. Now however, it's been raised to €0.00 and so have no effect on bills.

Does the PSO levy on my bill? You will see the PSO levy appear on your bill, along with the number of kilowatt hours (kWh) you’ve used and VAT. You will usually find it in the breakdown under your standing charge.

Check Out Our Energy Bill Glossary!

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How Much Will the PSO Levy Increase By?

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For domestic electricity customers, the PSO Levy is currently set at €0.00, given the global energy crisis and the continuous rise in the cost of living.. This is the same level it was set at from October 2022, and was then it was revised to -€97.12 in July 2023 and paid out retroactively from March 2023 until October 2023. From 30 September 2023, the PSO levy is due to add an extra €14.86 (including VAT).

Why Is the PSO Levy Decrease Necessary?

As mentioned above, one of the main factors in determining the PSO levy, according to the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU), is the wholesale price of electricity, which has been increasing rapidly since September 2021.

The CRU has stated that there is an inverse relationship between the PSO levy and the wholesale price so when the wholesale price decreases, the PSO levy increases and vice versa. With wholesale prices at record levels, it means that the PSO levy needs to come down accordingly.

Here’s a graph to show how the PSO levy has evolved since its introduction in 2010:

Will Electricity Prices Continue To Rise?

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Households are already facing higher electricity prices due to both the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Unfortunately, these prices are unlikely to stabilise in the near future despite intervention by the EU in the electricity markets and the new 2023 budget. Many households are likely to see increases of 51% higher in 2023, according to the CRU.

However, they're have been a lot of rate cuts scheduled for the end of 2023 meaning that electricity prices are soon to be coming down from their all time high. Easing conditions in the natural gas markets and more gas storage limits for the winter means that electricity prices are starting to come down for retail customers.

The CRU estimates that the PSO levy must raise €285.6 million in the coming year in order to enable Ireland to meet its renewable energy targets. This figure is down by more than €107.5 million from the current year. This overall amount may still change, however, if the market fluctuates over the next few weeks.

How Else Can I Decrease My Energy Bills?

Even as the PSO levy was decreased to zero from 1 October 2022 and then to a negative rebate, you can still take action to help decrease your own energy bills through implementing some energy efficient measures. Also, since many suppliers offer discounted rates and cashback offers to new customers, you can also save money switchingor comparing energy tariffs. You can also look into getting a smart meter so you can take advantage of cheaper electricity at night with a nightsaver tariff.

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Has the Government Provided More Help?

In its latest budget for 2023, the government pledged to spend on reducing the cost of living crisis and making things a bit easier for energy customers across the country. Among tax decreases and other help for social welfare, as well as dealing with the housing crisis, the government offered two other measures other than the decrease in the PSO levy to help battle the crisis:

  1. Extra Fuel Allowance Payment
    The fuel allowance has now been available to more people and those who are already on it received a once-off payment of €400 in November 2022 to help with the rising in the energy prices.
  2. €600 Electricity Payment
    Every electricity customer alsoreceived a €600 electricity payment for their electricity bills over 6 months. This payment waspaid in three instalments of €200, the first in November 2022, the second in January 2023 and the third in March 2023.

We currently still need to wait for more information about the Budget 2024 and what changes might come due to the easing energy markets.

Check Out Our Guide to the 2023 Budget!

Will the PSO Levy Increase Again?

The PSO levy is likely to rise again in the future, even after the rise in September 2023, due to the eventual fall of wholesale gas prices in the future. The EU’s intervention in the electricity markets is to include a cap on the amount of revenue that a renewable energy producer can receive, which has been excessive due to the high gas prices, and this will likely mean that the PSO levy will need to rise again to maintain investment in renewable energy generation. However this is still a while off before it has any effects so for the time being the PSO levy is likely to remain zero.

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