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Image Simon Moynihan
Staff Writer

Airtricity today became the third Irish energy supplier to announce price increases. From October 15th, the company will increase electricity prices by 4.7% and gas prices by 8.5%.

The price increases, which will be applied to unit rates and standing charges, will mean an additional €71 on gas bills and €66 on electricity bills per year for customers on Airtricity’s Standard rates.

Average households on Standard tariffs can expect electricity bills to go from €1099 to €1165 per year, and gas bills to go from €899 to €970.

In a statement issued today, Airtricity said that factors beyond their control including the Euro’s falling value against Sterling and an increase in network costs have made price increases unavoidable.

Stephen Wheeler, Airtricity’s Managing director said: “We sincerely regret having to increase our prices at this time. In difficult economic conditions, increasing prices is one of the hardest decisions any business has to take.”

Stephen Wheeler also said that the company was genuinely aware of the financial pressures facing households, and that they had therefore decided not to increase prices for its customers with prepayment meters. Airtricty has around 370,000 electricity and 110,000 gas customers that will be affected by the price increases.

In a little over a week, Bord Gais, Electric Ireland and now Airtricity have announced identical gas price increases of 8.5%. All will result in increases of around €70 euros per year. Only Flogas has not yet announced a gas price increase, but it is expected to raise prices by a similar amount in the coming days. Bord Gais gas prices are regulated and set by the Commission for Energy Regulation, and other suppliers traditionally adopt identical price increases when Bord Gais prices go up.

Electricity prices are not regulated, but generally follow gas price increases. Only Bord Gais has yet to announce an electricity price increase.

In addition to supplier increases, Irish households will see an increase in the electricity Public Service Obligation Levy on October 1st. This will account for an extra €16 per year on electricity bills and is included in our calculations here.

As with other suppliers, most Airtricity customers receive discounts for paying by direct debit and receiving bills online. The best way to keep energy costs down is to compare prices avail of introductory discounts available from all suppliers.