Energy companies are coming under pressure to cut their prices for the winter, after Bord Gais said it was reducing prices for new and existing customers. - Charlie Weston
Bord Gais Energy is to lower its electricity prices by 2pc from the start of October, and gas by 2.5pc.
The former semi-State will be the cheapest in the market for electricity and dual-fuel, putting pressure on rivals, and prompting hopes of a new price war. It is the second reduction in prices from UK-owned Bord Gais in eight months.
The Centrica-owned supplier is also reintroducing an offer of €100 off bills for new electricity and dual-fuel customers, and offering 10pc off the standard electricity rate for new customers.
Energy expert Simon Moynihan of price comparison site Bonkers.ie said other suppliers were likely to respond with price cuts.
And it comes at a time that public sector obligation (PSO) levy on energy bills - in place to support wind, peat and keeping enough power generation in the system - has come down.
"Bord Gais's winter price cut will put pressure on other energy companies to cut prices," he said.
The reductions will mean Bord Gais will be the cheapest for electricity for new customers, but not for gas.
"The 2pc electricity price cut means that Bord Gais Energy has the cheapest standard electricity prices in the market and will save existing customers around €20 per year on their electricity bills," Mr Moynihan said.
When coupled with the PSO levy decrease, which was also due on October 1, customers would see electricity bills come down by around €25 a year, he added.
Wholesale gas prices fell by 10pc in August, compared with the previous month. "Bord Gais Energy is also offering new customers a signup incentive of €100, and a 10pc unit rate discount, so customers could expect to pay €969 per year, making Bord Gais Energy the cheapest way to get your electricity," Mr Moynihan said.
Minister for Energy Alex White welcomed the price cut announcement, and called on other energy suppliers to reduce their prices. He advised householders to shop around for the best deal. He added: "Even if consumers don't want to change supplier they can call their supplier and seek the best available package on offer."