Householders face rise in gas and electricity prices as tariffs increase

Householders are facing increases of up to 9.3% on their electricity bills and as much as a 12.8% hike on gas prices following announcements that tariffs are to rise across a number of utilities in the energy market.

Increases in wholesale energy costs on global markets has been blamed for the hikes, which could cost householders hundreds of euro extra a year in their utility bills.

In the past few weeks:

- Electric Ireland has announced it will increase residential electricity prices by 6.2% and residential gas prices by 8%;

- SSE Airtricity said its dual fuel bills will increase by 8.9%, the price of electricity will increase by 6.4%, and gas bills will rise by 12.3%;

- Flogas Natural Gas revealed it will be increasing the unit rate charged to residential natural gas customers by 12.8%; 

- Energia said it will increase its electricity and gas prices by 7.6% and 12.38%, respectively;

- Panda Power announced it will increase its standard unit rate electricity price by 5.9% and its gas price by 5%;

- Pinergy revealed a 9.38% hike in its electricity prices.

All the increases will come in over the next month.

Daragh Cassidy, head of communications at the price comparison website, said customers should take the time to research which tariffs work best for them — and that it should not be assumed that bundle deals for electricity and gas provide the greatest value.

We’re finding that while people may like the convenience of one bill, they are not ecessarily making huge savings by going for dual fuel options,” he said.

As a result of the recent price rises:

- The average household supplied by Electric Ireland is facing a €56 rise in its annual electricity bill, and €55 a year extra in its gas bill;

- A typical household dual fuel bill with SSE Airtricity will rise by €140 a year. Those homes who only get electricity from SSE Airtricity will see its annual bill rise by around €59, and its gas-only typical households will see an increase of about €82;

- The average household that is supplied by Flogas Natural Gas is facing an annual increase of around €93;

- Electricity-only customers with Energia will be asked to pay another €83 a year and gas-only customers can expect a rise of around €97 on their annual bill. Dual fuel customers will be asked to pay an extra €180 a year;

- Panda Power will be charging an extra €48 a year to the average household’s electricity bill and €32 a year to the average gas bill;

- Pinergy’s customers will pay around €72 a year more for the average bill;

Mr Cassidy said there is no one answer for which provider offers best value and that an individual household’s consumption rate will determine which utility is best suited for a customer.

He said that, across the board, all households should review their energy deals every 12 months.

“Once a year, everyone should look at shopping around,” he said. “Utilities offer their best rates to new customers, and once you’re signed up and with a company for over a year, the contract rolls over onto standard rates.

We’ve found that customers could save up to €300 if they shop around.

Market figures show that on average, 26,154 customers changed their electricity supplier every month last year. That figure has risen slightly, to 26,708 average electricity monthly switches to date this year.

The average number of gas monthly switches in 2017 was 10,368, but this year has seen a 13% rise in those figures, up to 11,713 a month.

Mr Cassidy said Irish customers are “terrible” for shopping around compared to consumers in other countries, but are getting better at looking for valuet.

“We are definitely getting better,” he said. “We were bad in all areas, from banking to utilities, but there is a noticeable increase in customers switching.”

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