Electric Ireland has announced another increase in prices for electricity and gas customers for the third time in five months.
The energy provider will increase its standard electricity and gas prices which will see bills jump by 26.7 per cent and 37.5 per cent.
The price changes will take effect from October 1st.
Electric Ireland is the State’s largest energy provider, and the move is set to impact about 1.1 million electricity customers, and 150,000 gas customers.
The increases will add around €446 a year to the average customer’s electricity bill and €516 to their gas bill.
Electric Ireland last increased prices in August, when it upped the price of gas by over 30 per cent and electricity by over 10 per cent.
Before that it raised gas and electricity prices by almost 25 per cent in May.
It also increased prices twice in 2021.
When all increases are taken into account households are looking at paying over €1,000 extra for their electricity each year and over €1,100 more for their gas.
This is the fourth price hike announcement from an energy supplier in less than a week following hikes by SSE Airtricity, Community Power and PrepayPower.
Thursday’s announcement comes on the back of the skyrocketing cost of gas on wholesale markets in recent months, which is up around 1,000 per cent compared to the start of last year.
Daragh Cassidy at bonkers.ie said: “To say these are unprecedented times is an understatement. Price increases of this frequency and this magnitude are clearly unsustainable.
“During the last energy crisis in the 1970s, the price of oil increased by around 400 per cent on wholesale markets. We now have gas up by over 1,000 per cent. That shows you the scale of the crisis we’re looking at.
“We’re heading into winter with gas and electricity prices at absolutely astronomical levels. And it could get even worse. The average gas and electricity bill is now around €4,000. That’s close to the UK price cap of £3,549.
“In the UK the price cap is forecast to rise to over €6,000 in January. Over 70 per cent of our gas comes via the UK so our prices track theirs relatively closely (indeed UK gas and electricity has generally been slightly cheaper than Ireland’s in recent years). So that shows you what we could be looking at.
“The Government needs to decide now how it plans to help households over the coming months. Is the temporary reduction in VAT being kept and will VAT be reduced further? Is another energy credit going to be paid? How big will it be? 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 and making money from gas and oil that isn’t ours?”
“To truly tackle the costs of spiralling energy prices, action will need to be taken at an EU level. Next week’s proposed emergency energy summit is welcome news as are talks about an intervention in the electricity market and a redesign to bring down prices.”