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Electric Ireland cuts household rate

Electric Ireland has become the third energy supplier in just over a month to cut prices for households - Conall Ó Fátharta

The company confirmed that it will cut gas unit prices by 2.5% from April 1, resulting in annual savings of around €21 per year for an average household or almost €2 per month.

The announcement follows Electric Ireland’s electricity price cut in November when the company also reduced electricity unit rates by 2.5%.

In January, Bord Gáis Energy announced that it will lower its domestic gas prices by 3.5% and its electricity prices by 2.5% from March 16.

SSE Airtricity followed suit and confirmed it will reduce its household prices for new and existing customers by 4% for natural gas and by 2% for electricity from April 1.

Executive director of the Electric Ireland Jim Dollard said the price reduction was good news for 130,000 customers.

Electric Ireland’s standard gas customers are paying €979.35 per year. This price reduction will mean that average bills should fall to €958.60.

The latest series of price cuts among energy suppliers comes amid mounting public anger that the large drop in wholesale oil and gas prices over the past year is not being passed on to customers in the form of lower tariffs.

Energy Minister Alex White held a series of meetings with the chief executives of energy companies in the past few weeks to discuss the speed with which wholesale energy price reductions are being reflected in household bills.

Managing director of bonkers.ie David Kerr said the price cuts were good news for consumers but pointed out all energy companies have also introduced a range of new tariffs which include discounts of up to 20% as they compete for new customers.

“The price reduction in Electric Ireland standard gas rates of 2.5% is to be very welcomed by all Electric Ireland gas customers,” said Mr Kerr.

“However, the level of the price cut remains shy of the discount tariffs offered by Electric Ireland for new and returning customers, so the message remains that for the best electricity and gas prices, customers should review their existing tariff and make the switch to a discounted tariff.”

Speaking at the Dáil Transport Committee on Thursday, director of the Commission for Energy Regulation Laura Brien said it tends to take six months for wholsesale price changes to feed through to the retail market but that competition in the Irish market was strong and switching levels well above those of other countries.

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