CHARLIE WESTON – 31 MAY 2013
HOUSEHOLDERS will see their gas bills fall by around €100, experts predict.
This is because Bord Gais will be free to set its own gas prices from August. At the moment the semi-state company is regulated, which means it has to get permission from the energy regulator before changing its prices. But its share of the market is set to fall below 60pc by the end of the summer, which will give it the freedom to compete with the other three players on residential gas prices, Simon Moynihan of Bonkers.ie said.
"Bord Gais will almost certainly take the opportunity to deregulate in August. It will allow them to recapture lost customers in time for the winter high consumption period," he said.
"By deregulating in August, they will need to re-brand, which worked well for the ESB, so there's no reason why it shouldn't work for Bord Gais as well," Mr Moynihan said.
The average family is paying around €960 a year for gas, after the company was allowed to raise its prices by 8.5pc last winter. Now the average annual bill is likely to fall to €860, Mr Moynihan said.
"Bord Gais will most likely launch their new brand with very competitive gas prices and low cost dual fuel deals. This could mean savings of around €100 a year off current gas prices for Bord Gais customers," the finance expert said.