Local TD Denis Naughten has called for part of the cash generated from the sale of Bord Gais to be ring-fenced to extend the gas network to towns in County Roscommon.
This would reduce the energy cost to local businesses by €3.7m each year he has claimed.
Speaking in the Dáil recently, Denis Naughten said: “The sale of Bord Gais is about creating jobs and it is imperative that this includes the extension of the natural gas network to towns in county Roscommon and the North West region.
“This is a golden opportunity for government to support existing businesses and create new jobs locally. We must ensure that some of the money from the sale of the company is ploughed back into job creation in this region,” he believes.
Deputy Naughten continued that based on a report by the Western Development Commission (WDC) on the extension of the natural gas infrastructure, businesses in County Roscommon alone would save over €3.7m/year by having access to natural gas. On top of this local households could connect to the gas network and see their annual energy bill reduced by €485.
“Based on an analysis of the WDC report the extension of the network would save business in Boyle €180,000/year with Roscommon Town and Strokestown businesses benefiting by a sum of €930,000 and €125,000 respectively,” he pointed out.
“The biggest winner locally would be the town of Ballaghaderreen which would see business saving in excess of €2.5m/year if it could avail of natural gas when compared with the cost of existing energy supplies such as oil based fuels and electricity.”
Within the region covered by the WDC study, the town with the most to gain is Carrick-on-Shannon which would benefit by over €7m/year if it were to get access to the gas network.
“Such savings for local business would not only protect existing jobs but also make these towns attractive to future investment by Irish or international companies,” said Denis Naughten.
“This report clearly highlights the importance of ring-fencing some of the funds from the sale of Bord Gais to be reinvested by the Government to roll out gas to businesses and homes in local towns. Without such a commitment business faces higher energy costs, significantly higher carbon tax charges than many of their competitors and, as a result, job losses rather than increased employment,” concluded Denis Naughten.
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