Electric Ireland relents and cuts its prices

ENERGY companies are set to come under huge pressure to reduce their prices after the largest player in the market said it was cutting its electricity rates - Charlie Weston  Personal Finance Editor

After months of being called on to cut prices, Electric Ireland said its 1.2 million customers would see prices fall by 6pc on June 1.

The reduction will save the average family €57 over the course of a year, in what is the biggest cut in energy prices in the past two years.

It comes as wholesale gas prices, the main input for the production of electricity, have almost halved in the past year.

Executive director of Electric Ireland Jim Dollard said: "This is Electric Ireland's third electricity price decrease in less than two years. We are committed to continually offering the best value products to our customers in a very competitive energy market place."

He said the latest announcement meant the average annual residential bill for Electric Ireland customers would have reduced by more than €100 over the past 19 months.

The company came in for severe criticism recently after its parent, ESB, reported operating profits of €630m for last year, which consumer advocates said should have meant greater reductions in prices for consumers before now.

Simon Moynihan of price comparison site bonkers.ie said the Electric Ireland reduction was the largest price reduction since wholesale prices started falling two years ago. "This is double the price cut we've seen from other suppliers which have ranged from 2.5pc to 3pc."

He said the reduction showed that there was room for more price cuts across all suppliers. "This should encourage other suppliers to bring price relief to their customers," Mr Moynihan said.

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