Electric Ireland has become the latest energy supplier to raise its prices as the energy crisis goes from bad to worse.
Electric Ireland is to increase its gas and electricity prices for the third time in only five months.
The move will impact around 1.1 million electricity customers and 150,000 gas customers.
The supplier is increasing the unit price of its electricity by 38.24% and the unit price of its gas by a whopping 47% from 1 October.
However Electric Ireland isn't increasing the standing charge - for now at least. This means electricity and gas bills will go up by 26.7% and 37.5% respectively based on average usage.
The increases will add around €446 a year to the average customer's electricity bill and €516 to their gas bill.
Electric Ireland only last increased its prices in August, when it upped the price of its gas by over 30% and its electricity by over 10%.
Before that it raised its gas and electricity prices by almost 25% in May.
It also increased its prices two times in 2021.
When all increases are taken into account households are looking at paying over €1,000 extra for their electricity each year and over €1,100 more for their gas.
This is the fourth price hike announcement from an energy supplier in less than a week following hikes by SSE Airtricity, Community Power, and PrepayPower.
Today’s news comes on the back of the skyrocketing cost of gas on wholesale markets in recent months, which is up around 1,000% compared to the start of last year.
To say these are unprecedented times is an understatement. Price increases of this frequency and this magnitude are clearly unsustainable.
During the last energy crisis in the ‘70s, the price of oil increased by around 400% on wholesale markets. We now have gas up by over 1,000%. That shows you the scale of the crisis we’re looking at.
We’re heading into winter with gas and electricity prices at absolutely astronomical levels. And it could get even worse...
The average gas and electricity bill is now around €4,000. That’s close to the UK price cap of £3,549. In the UK the price cap is forecast to rise to over €6,000 in January. Over 70% of our gas comes via the UK so our prices track theirs relatively closely (indeed UK gas and electricity has generally been slightly cheaper than Ireland’s in recent years). So that shows you what we could be looking at.
Help and support
Help and support is available. But equally the Government needs to decide soon what it is going to do.
Is the temporary reduction in VAT being kept and will VAT be reduced further? Is another energy credit going to be paid? How big will it be? Is the Government going to place a windfall tax on energy companies - and if so, how would this even work when many are headquartered overseas and making money from gas and oil that isn’t ours?
To truly tackle the costs of spiralling energy prices, action will need to be taken at an EU level. Next week’s emergency energy summit is welcome news as are talks about an intervention in the electricity market and a redesign to bring down prices.
In the meantime check out our guide on what supports are available if you're struggling with your energy bills.
And check out these 15 ways to use less electricity.