No end in sight to ‘shocking’ energy bill hikes

No end in sight to ‘shocking’ energy bill hikes

By Pádraig Hoare

Consumer bodies have warned there is “no end in sight” to “shocking” gas and electricity hikes, as Bord Gáis became the seventh firm to raise prices in a matter of weeks.

Bonkers.ie said the move by Bord Gáis will hit far more customers in the pocket than any of its rivals.

From next month, the largest gas supplier in the Republic will increase electricity prices by 5.8%, adding €60 onto the annual bill for an average customer, Bonkers.ie said.

The website said gas prices will go up by 4.7%, which will add almost €37 onto the average annual gas bill.

Bonkers.ie said that although the price hikes announced by Bord Gáis are less than some of the recent hikes, as Ireland’s largest gas supplier, and second largest electricity supplier, the increases will be felt in far more people’s pockets.

The website’s Daragh Cassidy said: “Seven energy suppliers have now announced price hikes in the space of just over a month. It’s shocking.”

The average dual fuel customer will see their annual bills soar by almost €97, according to fellow consumer website Switcher.ie.

Managing director of Switcher.ie, Eoin Clarke said: “Unfortunately, wholesale energy prices have shot up in recent months. As a result, the vast majority of suppliers have implemented at least one price increase since last winter and it signals that there’s no end in sight.”

Bord Gáis follows rivals like Energia, Flogas, SSE Airtricity, Electric Ireland, Panda Power, and Pinergy, in hiking up prices.

Earlier this week, Panda Power announced it will be increasing its electricity standard unit rate by 5.9% next month and their gas standard unit rate by 5% — meaning an increase of almost €80 on a typical dual fuel bill, Switcher.ie said.

Pinergy will hike its electricity prices by 9.38%, adding almost €72 onto the average annual electricity bill.

Mr Clarke said while the squeeze might not be felt immediately, the winter months would prove costly for consumers.

“Almost all Irish energy customers will be impacted by at least one of this summer’s hikes, with higher rates starting to take hold in the coming weeks.

“While heating might be the last thing on our minds while we’re enjoying this rare stretch of good weather, the increases are going to have a big impact when we return to colder weather and the evenings start to close in.”

Despite the industry-wide price hikes, the vast majority of consumers fail to save hundreds of euro a year by switching companies, both Bonkers.ie and Switcher.ie said.

Mr Cassidy said: “As always our advice is to shop around. Energy suppliers invariably save their best rates for new customers, so if you’ve been with your current energy supplier for over a year, look into switching over to a better deal.

“It’s surprisingly quick and easy to do and you can still save hundreds.”

Switcher.ie said the vast majority of entitled customers had not switched, despite the process taking just minutes to complete.

Customers who switched or renegotiated their gas and electricity contracts every year for the last four years could have saved €670 on gas, €1,146 on electricity or €1,417 on their dual fuel costs, according to a report published by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities.

More in this Section

Dublin Airport celebrates 80 years with reflection and expansionDublin Airport celebrates 80 years with reflection and expansion

Netflix chief confirms interest in deal with Harry and MeghanNetflix chief confirms interest in deal with Harry and Meghan

Sajid Javid issues post-Brexit warning to business leadersSajid Javid issues post-Brexit warning to business leaders

Markets jump despite fresh US-China concernsMarkets jump despite fresh US-China concerns


Lifestyle

Flexibility naturally declines with age but there’s a lot you can to stay supple through the decades, says Peta Bee.At full stretch: How to stay flexible through the years

WHEN I think about the kind of child I was, I would say that I was the exact same kind of person that I am as an adult. I have always been fascinated by things that I don’t quite yet understand. I recognise that I hardly understand anything and that most of the world is and always has been so beautifully complex to me.School Daze: Chris Hadfield - I realised at a young age that teachers were fallible

Charlize Theron is unrecognisable as Fox News star Megyn Kelly in ‘Bombshell’, a film that looks at the sexual harassment scandal at the network. She talks to Laura Harding about Me Too and the complexity of the film.Charlize Theron on Bombshell: ‘For the first time we are realising women can be part of the problem'

More From The Irish Examiner