The one we’ve all been waiting for… Bord Gáis Energy has become the seventh energy supplier since the beginning of June (and the third this week) to announce a price hike. It is increasing both its gas and its electricity prices by 4.7% and 5.8% respectively, from the 6th of August.
After the recent slew of energy supplier price increase announcements we’ve seen come flooding in over the last couple of weeks, it was no surprise to us here at bonkers.ie that Bord Gáis Energy have entered the fray, considering they have the greatest market share of the domestic energy sector after Electric Ireland.
This announcement marks the seventh energy supplier to announce a price increase since June 1st, and it’s the second time that Bord Gáis Energy has increased its prices inside of a year.
What are the details of Bord Gáis Energy’s price increases?
The price changes, which will take effect from 6 August 2018, will increase a typical gas bill by €37 per year and a typical electricity bill by €60 per year. In percentage terms, this represents an increase of 4.7% on an average gas bill and an increase of 5.8% on an average electricity bill.
Last November, the supplier increased electricity prices by 5.9% and gas prices by 3.4%. Taking the latest increase into account, this means that on average, Bord Gáis Energy’s annual electricity bills are €117 more expensive this year versus last year, while average gas bills are up €62 since this time last year.
Why are so many suppliers increasing their prices?
All of the suppliers so far have cited rising wholesale gas prices as the reason behind the price increases and Bord Gáis Energy is no exception.
Mark Prentice, Managing Director, Bord Gáis Energy said; “Bord Gáis Energy regrets today’s announcement. This was a difficult decision to make but continued increases in wholesale energy costs have forced us to raise our prices.
Bord Gáis Energy is committed to offering customers the best possible value for money and we have worked hard to minimise the increase as much as possible. This is only the second price increase since 2014 and follows three consecutive price decreases for both gas and electricity customers. We will continue to monitor costs and, as always, ensure that we offer our customers the best possible prices for their energy.”
Rewards for loyalty
In its statement regarding the increase, Bord Gáis Energy also reminded customers of its loyalty programmes which offer significant value to its customers;
“Bord Gáis Energy offers customers savings on their household bills through its Rewards Club and to date Rewards Club members have saved over 10 million euros. Existing customers can take advantage of an ongoing discount of 7% for dual fuel when they pay by direct debit and receive bills electronically. Also, with our new boiler services and gas bundle, existing customers can get 14% discount off their gas price when signing up to our 365 Homecare boiler service.
Bord Gáis Energy also offers the Hive range of smart energy management products which allow householders to manage their own energy consumption more effectively. Hive Active Heating allows customers to control their heating and hot water from their phone or tablet, helping them to manage their home energy consumption more efficiently and reduce their bills.”
Seven price increase announcements since June 1st
As mentioned, Bord Gáis Energy are the 7th energy supplier to announce a price increase in the last number of weeks.
SSE Airtricity kicked off the trend and will increase its electricity prices by 6.4%, its gas prices by 12.3% and its dual fuel prices by 8.9%.
Electric Ireland will increase electricity prices by 6.2% and gas prices by 8%.
Flogas will increase its gas prices by 12.8%.
Energia will increase its electricity prices by 7.6%, its gas prices by 12.3% and its dual fuel prices by 9.6%.
Panda Power will increase its electricity prices by 5.9% and its gas prices by 5%.
And finally, Pinergy will increase its electricity prices by 9.38%.
SSE Airtricity’s increases will come into effect on July the 14th, whereas all of the others will take effect from the 1st of August.
There are three remaining energy suppliers who have yet to announce price hikes; Just Energy, PrePayPower.ie and BEenergy.
Given that Bord Gáis Energy is such a big player in the energy market, we fully expected it to follow suit in the wake of the previous price increase announcements. However, it will be harder to predict whether Just Energy, PrePayPower.ie or BEenergy will make similar moves. Let’s hope that they don’t!
Is there any way to offset increases?
It’s worth noting that in addition to increasing standard unit rates, Bord Gáis Energy is also increasing its standing charge, meaning that even if you reduce your consumption dramatically, you’ll still see an increase in your bills.
Switching suppliers is still the quickest and easiest way to offset price increases and that still holds even in the current environment, where we see nearly all of the suppliers increasing their prices.
This is because energy suppliers offer discounted rates to new customers for the duration of a contract period (typically 12 months). This means that as long as you switch suppliers every 12 months, you’ll ensure that you’re always paying a good 15% (or more) less than if you stuck with the same supplier year in, year out.
Comparing and switching plans is extremely easy using bonkers.ie and you can do so right now using our energy comparison calculator. It’s free to use and takes only minutes to do!