Our predictions have come true, as Electric Ireland becomes the second energy supplier, after SSE Airtricity, to announce significant gas and electricity price hikes this summer. The increases will add an average of €56 to electricity customers’ annual bills and €55 for gas customers.
From the first of August 2018, Electric Ireland will increase electricity prices by 6.2% and gas prices by 8%. This equates to €4.68 per month or €56.16 per year (incl. VAT) for electricity and is based on the typical residential electricity customer with an electricity usage of 4,200 kWh per annum.
For gas customers, it equates to €4.59 per month or €55.08 per year (incl. VAT) and is based on the typical residential gas customer with a gas usage of 11,000 kWh per annum. Typical usage is as defined by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
A repeat of last year’s trend?
Earlier this month, SSE Airtricity announced similar price hikes to both their gas and electricity prices, which will come into effect next month.
This is notable because the last time SSE Airtricity announced a price hike in the latter half of last year, it started a movement that saw a total of six other energy suppliers follow suit by Christmas. With today’s announcement from Electric Ireland, it looks as though history is set to repeat itself.
Both suppliers have cited that the increases are in direct response to sustained increases in wholesale energy prices.
Niall Dineen, Head of Residential Markets, Electric Ireland commented: “Electric Ireland is absolutely committed to keeping prices as low as possible. It has been a very difficult decision to make, but the wholesale costs required to supply electricity and gas are continuing to rise.
Over the past number of years, we have passed on savings as a result of wholesale energy cost reductions and we remain the first supplier in the Irish market to offer enduring long-term savings of up to 8.5% to our residential electricity and gas customers. Electric Ireland also continues to give a 5% discount to customers experiencing financial hardship, through Industry Prepayment meters and via the Household Budget Scheme.”
Is there a way to offset increases?
Given that we’re in the middle of a heatwave at the height of summer, it’s unlikely that you’ve given a second thought to your gas and electricity bills recently.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that as Electric Ireland has the greatest market share of electricity customers in Ireland, it means that a lot of us are going to be hit with this significant increase once it comes into effect.
There’s a quick and easy way to safeguard yourself against the increases and higher bills once the colder weather and shorter days start creeping in, and that’s to switch energy suppliers and get on the best market rate available right now if you haven’t done so within the last 12 months.
This is because nearly all of Ireland’s ten energy suppliers offer special discounted rates to new customers that last for the duration of your contract, meaning that you can make significant savings on your energy bills if you remember to shop around and switch energy suppliers every year.
Right now, customers on typical standard rates, using an average amount of energy per year could save over €340 on annual energy bills by switching suppliers (if you use more than the average consumption, you could save even more!).
Why not compare discount deals across suppliers right now to find the best deal for you? And while we have you, do yourself a favour and check our top ten ways to reduce your electricity usage and lower your bills.