Electric Ireland customers face 3.4% rise in price for power

State-owned company blames costs beyond its control for increase

The company said the extra costs included charges for use of the single electricity market. Photograph: Arben Celi/Reuters

The company said the extra costs included charges for use of the single electricity market. Photograph: Arben Celi/Reuters

 

Electric Ireland customers will pay, on average, €2.88 extra on their electricity bills from next month as the company ups prices.

The power supply subsidiary of State-owned ESB said on Tuesday that it would increase electricity charges by 3.4 per cent from October 1st, adding €2.88 to the average household bill.

However, the utility company said it would freeze gas prices for the winter, locking in an 11.5 per cent cut in the price of the fuel dating from April.

Marguerite Sayers, the company’s executive director, blamed “other electricity and system costs” outside her organisation’s control for the increase.

“In April we reduced energy bills for gas and electricity customers by circa €100 annually because fuel costs were falling at that time,” she said.

The company said the extra costs included charges for use of the single electricity market. This is the wholesale market through which electricity suppliers and generators trade the power that is ultimately sold to homes and businesses.

Ms Sayers noted that the ring-fenced gas price cut would save customers an average of €78 a year. Natural gas prices fell sharply this year as supplies of the fuel increased and demand fell following widespread Covid-19 lockdowns.

She argued that Electric Ireland had one of the lowest rates for gas and electricity supply combined.

Ms Sayers noted that the company had an “enduring” discount of 8.5 per cent on gas and electricity bundles that does not end after one year.

Electric Ireland continued to offer customers facing hardship a 5 per cent discount, Ms Sayers added.