Bord Gáis Energy is the third supplier to make an announcement in relation to an increase in operating costs, and is the first to announce a complete price freeze across gas and electricity for its residential customers here.
After a number of suppliers announced an increase to the cost of their electricity last week due to increased operating costs, consumers have been waiting with bated breath, with many awaiting news that other suppliers would soon follow suit.
However, one of Ireland’s biggest energy suppliers, Bord Gáis Energy (BGE) today announced it will NOT be increasing the price of its electricity coming into the colder winter months.
The decision taken from BGE comes after both Electric Ireland and PrepayPower both announced electricity price increases last week, citing increased network operating costs as the reason for passing costs on to consumers.
With news from 10 other suppliers now expected to come in hard and fast, we take a closer look at today's announcement from BGE and what it means for its customers.
Planned price freeze
BGE has guaranteed over 625,000 of its residential energy customers that it will not be increasing its prices this winter, following an increase in costs experienced by all suppliers from the network operator.
Furthermore, BGE announced that it plans to absorb any increase in charges and plans to freeze its energy price increases until March 2021 at the earliest.
The energy supplier only announced a price reduction in May of this year, with a 4.5% and 6.5% reduction in the cost of its electricity and gas prices respectively.
It also had a 4% reduction in the price of its gas come into effect in October 2019, however, it increased the price of its electricity by 2.5% at the same time.
Bord Gáis Energy Managing Director, Dave Kirwan said of today’s announcement:
“As the country faces its most challenging winter in a lifetime, Bord Gáis Energy will freeze its residential gas and electricity prices despite the increased network and system costs announced recently by the CRU. We will absorb these additional costs, which are outside of our control, and are guaranteeing no price increases for residential customers until at least March 2021.
"As the helpful energy company, we’ve always committed to pass on savings where we can. This has been demonstrated by two price reductions for dual fuel customers in the last 12 months. In October 2019, we were the only energy provider to reduce prices before the winter period and we also reduced prices in May of this year. Combined, these two price reductions saved dual fuel customers an average of €97.53 per annum.
"Network and system costs now account for approximately 40% of a customer’s energy bill. We know this is a tough time for customers and that’s why we have committed to absorb these additional costs ahead of the winter period.”
To increase or not
As it stands, there are still 10 more energy suppliers yet to make an announcement as to whether or not they will be increasing the cost of their energy.
Today’s announcement from BGE is a most welcome one, with many of its customers expecting the supplier to increase its costs, in line with those implemented from Electric Ireland and PrepayPower only last week.
However, the planned freeze from BGE sets a positive precedent for other suppliers to follow in the coming days and weeks, ensuring they put customers first coming into what will no doubt be a very difficult winter period.
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