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The PSO Levy explained

You may have seen the PSO Levy on your energy bills, but what is it? Here’s all you need to know about the PSO Levy and how it impacts your energy bills.

What is the PSO Levy?

There are many factors which contribute to how much you pay for your electricity.

On your energy bill, you can view your consumption, unit rate and standing charge. You may also spot the Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy, which is a tariff imposed by the government on all electricity users.

The money collected from the PSO Levy is used to cover the costs of producing sustainable and renewable energy in Ireland.

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How much does the PSO Levy cost you?

In October 2020, the Levy increased to €78.24 (€88.80 including VAT). This is the amount you will see on your bill.

The PSO Levy is set each year by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and has experienced price fluctuations year on year.

In 2017 the PSO Levy increased, from €80.30 including VAT to €104.74 including VAT per year. There was a significant decrease in October 2018, which saw the Levy drop to €47.40 including VAT. In October 2019, the Levy dropped again to €34.08 (€38.68 including VAT).

PSO change history

The table below highlights the monthly and annual changes to the PSO Levy from 2011 - 2021. All rates are excluding VAT.

PSO Levy Year Monthly Levy Annual Levy  
2011 - 2012 €1.61 €19.33  
2012 - 2013 €2.32 €27.82  
2013 - 2014 €3.57 €42.87  
2014 - 2015 €5.36 €64.37  
2015 - 2016 €5.01 €60.09  
2016 - 2017 €5.90 €70.75  
2017 - 2018 €7.69 €92.28  
2018 - 2019 €3.48 €41.76  
2019 - 2020 €2.84 €34.08  
2020 - 2021 €6.52 €78.24  

The PSO Levy amount depends on the wholesale price of electricity. If prices are low, more money is needed to subsidise renewables, so the Levy goes up. If electricity prices are high, the Levy cost will fall.

How is the PSO Levy collected?

The PSO Levy is clearly displayed as a separate charge on all electricity customers’ bills. It’s paid as part of the overall electricity bill either on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

You can normally find the figure under the standing and unit charge. Find out more about understanding your energy bills in our helpful guide.

What does the PSO Levy fund?

The PSO Levy is used to support costs associated with producing renewable energy in Ireland.

For example, certain thermal power stations and wind farms are supported by the PSO Levy. This type of power is more expensive to produce than electricity produced by traditional methods but is better for the environment.

Another way in which the PSO fund supports renewable energy is to provide payment via the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) to domestic electricity customers for the solar power they generate with solar panels.

The PSO Levy is a way of helping the planet by financing more sustainable power choices which will benefit everyone in the future.

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