Wholesale electricity prices rose 21.7% in May on previous month

Energy prices, which had increased significantly in the wake of Covid, spiked after Russia invaded Ukraine

Wholesale electricity prices rose 195 per cent between August 2021 and August 2022

Wholesale electricity prices jumped 21.7 per cent in May compared with the previous month, data from the Central Statistics Office shows. The price of electricity was 2.4 per cent higher than in May 2023 but was 24.8 per cent lower than in May 2022.

The price index for all energy fuels was down 3.8 per cent in the month, but up 10.5 per cent since May last year. The overall energy products index was up 14.4 per cent since April and up 4.3 per cent compared with May 2023.

Energy prices increased significantly in the wake of Covid and spiked after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, reaching a peak in August that year.

Wholesale electricity prices rose 195 per cent between August 2021 and August 2022, with the wholesale price of electricity peaking at almost €400 per megawatt hour versus an average of about €38 per MWh in 2020.


Wholesale prices as a whole fell 2.8 per cent last month as measured by the overall producer price index for manufacturing industries.

The faster-than-expected softening of headline inflation in Ireland and across the euro zone has been driven by falling energy prices. The price index for export sales was down 2.9 per cent since April, while the index for home sales was down 0.1 per cent in the month.

Producer prices for products sold on the domestic market were 1.4 per cent lower compared with May last year. In the year, export producer prices rose 1.1 per cent while overall producer prices were up 0.9 per cent.

There were also a number of notable annual increases and decreases in construction products. The price of rough timber was up 8.1 per cent, while the price of sand and gravel rose 5 per cent.

There were reductions in the price of reinforcing metal (16.3 per cent); bituminous emulsions (14 per cent); and structural steel fabricated metal (9.5 per cent). The overall building and construction index, which includes materials and wages, increased 0.1 per cent in the month to May and rose 0.7 per cent in the 12 months.

The data also shows producer prices for food products fell 0.6 per cent in the month and dropped 6.5 per cent in the year. Producer prices for dairy products increased 0.6 per cent in the month but have dropped 15.4 per cent since May 2023.

Several other food categories showed notable changes when compared with the same month in 2023, including other food products, which came down 8.5 per cent, and grain milling, starches and animal feeds, which came down 6 per cent.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter