Electric Ireland to increase electricity prices by 4 per cent

Price increase follows others announced by Bord Gáis Energy and Airtricity this week

Electric Ireland has become the third energy provider to announce an electricity price increase this week. Photograph: iStockphoto

Electric Ireland has become the third energy provider to announce an electricity price increase this week. Photograph: iStockphoto

 

Electric Ireland has become the third energy provider to announce an electricity price increase this week although its 4 per cent hike will be deferred until February offering customers a degree of insulation against rising costs this winter.

“Electric Ireland is acutely conscious of the financial pressures facing our customers and we are committed to keeping prices as low as possible for as long as possible,” the company’s executive director Jim Dollard said.

Against a “backdrop of increasing wholesale energy costs” an electricity price increase was “unavoidable”, he said, adding that the delay in implementing the price increase would “help to provide our customers with some peace of mind about winter bills and underpins our commitment to offering our customers the best long-term value in the market.”

Eoin Clarke, the managing director of price comparison and utility switching site Switcher.ie, said other suppliers are “probably not far behind” in rolling out increases.

However he also pointed out that as only about 15 per cent of consumers switch energy supplier each year most people are on higher-priced standard energy tariffs.

“If you haven’t switched in over a year, we would encourage you to take some time to review the deals that are out there - the market is highly competitive so there are huge savings to be made by switching,” he said.

Earlier this week Bord Gáis Energy and Airtricity both announced energy price increases which could see Irish consumers worse off by as much as €83 over the course of the next 12 months.

Bord Gáis Energy’s price hike will see typical gas bills go up by €2.12 a month and a typical electricity bill by €4.77 a month.

The changes, which will take effect from the beginning of November, are due to significant increases in the wholesale cost of energy as well as higher costs associated with distributing energy on the gas and electricity networks, the company said.

In percentage terms, the increase represents 3.4 per cent in a typical customer’s gas bill and an increase of 5.9 per cent in a typical customer’s electricity bill.

Annual electricity bills for SSE Airtricity customers are also likely to climb by around €50 after the company introduces a 5.6 per cent price increase from November 1st.