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What is the PSO Levy?

In the complex landscape of commercial energy in Ireland, one term that often appears on electricity bills and raises questions among business owners is the PSO Levy. While it may sound unfamiliar to some, the PSO Levy plays a significant role in the country’s energy sector and has implications for businesses of all sizes. In this article, we will demystify the PSO Levy, explaining what it is, why it exists, and how it can impact businesses in Ireland.

Understanding the PSO Levy

The term “PSO” stands for Public Service Obligation, and the PSO Levy is a charge imposed on electricity customers in Ireland. Its primary purpose is to fund certain government policies and initiatives that serve the public interest. These policies typically include promoting the use of renewable energy sources, ensuring the security of the electricity supply, and supporting vulnerable consumers.

Why Does the PSO Levy Exist?

It exists to fund activities that might not be economically viable for electricity providers to undertake on their own, but are deemed essential for the public good. These activities include:

  1. Renewable Energy Support: A significant portion of the charge goes towards supporting the development of renewable energy sources in Ireland. This includes subsidies and incentives for renewable energy projects such as wind farms and solar installations. By investing in renewable energy, Ireland aims to reduce its carbon footprint and transition to a more sustainable energy future.

  2. Security of Supply: Ensuring a reliable and secure electricity supply is essential for businesses and consumers alike. It helps fund measures to maintain and improve the resilience of the electricity grid, ensuring that businesses can operate without interruptions due to power outages.

  3. Support for Vulnerable Customers: The Levy also provides assistance to low-income households and vulnerable consumers who may struggle to pay their electricity bills. This support ensures that everyone has access to essential energy services.

How Does the PSO Levy Impact Businesses?

The charge affects businesses in Ireland because it is a component of the overall electricity rates they pay. It is included in the unit rate for electricity, which is the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity consumed. Since businesses often consume a significant amount of electricity, the PSO Levy can constitute a substantial portion of their electricity bills.

The impact of the PSO Levy on a business’s electricity costs depends on several factors, including its level of electricity consumption and the current rate of the levy. The rate of the PSO Levy can vary from year to year, and it is determined by the Irish government based on the funding needs of the supported initiatives.

Managing the Impact of the PSO Levy

While businesses cannot avoid paying the Levy, there are strategies they can employ to manage its impact on their electricity costs:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Improving energy efficiency can reduce overall electricity consumption, thereby decreasing the amount of the PSO Levy paid. Businesses can invest in energy-efficient equipment, implement energy-saving practices, and conduct regular energy audits to identify areas for improvement.

  2. Renewable Energy: Businesses can explore the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, to generate a portion of their electricity on-site. By doing so, they can reduce their reliance on the grid and, consequently, the PSO Levy.

  3. Negotiating Contracts: When negotiating electricity contracts, businesses can work with energy suppliers to explore options that offer competitive rates and mitigate the impact of the PSO Levy. It’s essential to engage in contract negotiations that align with your business’s specific needs and consumption patterns. is a commercial energy brokerage which can help mitigate charges such as the Levy by securing the best deal in the market for your business.

  4. Stay Informed: Keeping track of changes in the PSO Levy rate and government policies related to energy can help businesses anticipate potential impacts on their electricity costs. Staying informed allows businesses to make proactive decisions regarding their energy management strategies.


In the realm of Irish commercial energy, the PSO Levy is a cost that businesses must contend with as part of their overall electricity expenses. While it may seem like an additional burden, it serves critical public service obligations, including supporting renewable energy development, ensuring a secure electricity supply, and aiding vulnerable consumers.

Businesses can manage the impact of the PSO Levy by adopting energy-efficient practices, exploring renewable energy options, and negotiating competitive electricity contracts. Staying informed about changes in the levy rate and government energy policies is also crucial for making informed decisions that optimize energy costs.

In summary, understanding the PSO Levy and its role in the broader energy landscape is essential for Irish businesses seeking to navigate the complexities of the commercial energy market. By proactively managing their electricity consumption and exploring cost-saving opportunities, businesses can strike a balance between fulfilling their energy needs and managing the financial implications of the PSO Levy.

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