Energy provider Pinergy announces sixth price hike since January 2021

Energy provider Pinergy announces sixth price hike since January 2021

The average electricity bill has gone up by around €900 per year since January 2021. Picture: iStock

Energy supplier Pinergy has announced that it is raising its prices for a sixth time since the start of 2021.

The company says it will be increasing the unit price of its electricity by 18% from September 5. It will also increase its daily pre-pay meter charge by 24%, and its daily standing charge by 30%.

Overall, the increases will result in a 19.2% increase to the typical annual household cost — equivalent to €7.21 per week, or €375 per year.

About 27,000 customers are expected to be affected by the move.

Pinergy raised its prices five times last year, the most recent rise coming last December when it upped prices by 19%.

Pinergy CEO Enda Gunnell said the increases are the result of “unprecedented volatile and upward pricing trends in the wholesale energy markets, both domestically and globally”.

Pinergy's latest price increases will affect about 27,000 customers. File Picture
Pinergy's latest price increases will affect about 27,000 customers. File Picture

“As an independent energy supplier, we have absorbed as much of the current wholesale pricing increases as we could over recent months,” he said.

“The outlook remains challenging as the global wholesale energy markets face further volatility over the coming months.”

Latest in a series of price increases

Irish energy suppliers announced more than 35 separate price hikes in 2021.

Since then, the average electricity bill has gone up by around €900 per year and the average gas bill has risen by around €800 per year.

Daragh Cassidy of bonkers.ie said Pinergy’s announcement is unsurprising given the continued elevated cost of gas on global wholesale markets.

“As just a supplier of electricity, Pinergy is making no money from generating electricity, so is highly exposed to rising energy prices,” he said. 

“To say these are unprecedented times is an understatement.

We’re heading into this winter with energy prices at absolutely astronomical levels and it’s set to get worse.”

Mr Cassidy said that Irish consumers are likely to see another round of price hikes by suppliers in the coming weeks. He called on the Government to “decide now how it plans to help households over the coming months”.

“Is the temporary reduction in Vat being kept? Is another energy credit going to be paid?” he said.

Is the Government going to place a windfall tax on energy companies, and if so, how would this even work when many are headquartered overseas?”

More customers switching electricity and gas provider

According to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, 170,890 customers switched electricity supplier between January and May this year, compared to the 131,467 who switched over the first five months of 2021.

From January to May of this year, 61,174 people also switched their gas provider, an 81% increase on the 33,681 who did so over the same period last year.

Mr Cassidy said that households looking to offset energy price increases should consider making the switch.

“Despite the rising prices, there is still good competition among energy suppliers in Ireland for new customers right now, and many are offering big discounts for a year to those who switch,” he said, stressing price switching would be “absolutely essential this autumn”.

“I’d also encourage households to check out any Government supports which are available, such as the winter fuel allowance, the free electricity allowance, and the exceptional needs payment.

Some suppliers have also set up hardship funds which will provide financial support to those most in need, so I’d encourage people to chat to their suppliers too.”

This week it emerged the Government is considering the introduction of a windfall tax on energy companies in September’s budget.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin told reporters in Kerry that while the Government wants to see more investment in renewable energy, it recognises that “significant profits are being made all around” by energy companies.

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