It's the second price increase from SSE this year, following an increase in April. The move will impact around a quarter of a million electricity customers and 85,000 gas customers.
Another day, another price increase.
To say we’re back in a period of rising energy prices would be an understatement.
Earlier in the month both Pinergy and Panda Power announced their THIRD price increases of 2021 alone.
And today it’s the turn of SSE Airtricity. Again.
SSE Airtricity price hike
SSE, which last increased its gas and electricity prices back in April, has announced that it’s increasing its electricity prices by another 10.6% and its gas prices by 10.7% from 1st September.
This will add around €118 to the average customer’s annual electricity bill and €84 to the average annual gas bill.
However, when you take into account April’s price rise, the average annual electricity bill for SSE customers will now be around €180 higher while the average annual gas bill will be around €115 more.
Speaking about the news, Klair Neenan, SSE Airtricity Managing Director, said:
Unfortunately, there have been sustained increases in wholesale energy costs over the last year. We have worked hard to limit and delay the impact of this on our customers and have not taken the decision lightly, however, these costs are outside of our control, and, as we have seen from other announcements, impact all energy suppliers in the market.
We will continue to monitor this carefully and, as we have done before, will look to reduce our prices as soon as it is possible to do so. SSE Airtricity has a longstanding history of supporting our customers and we’d encourage anyone who needs help with their energy bills to contact us and we will work with you to find a solution together.
Why are energy prices increasing?
There are many reasons for this but it can be summed up in a number of bullet points.
- Fossil fuels - in Ireland we still rely heavily on the burning of fossil fuels to create energy for homes around the country. Up to 50% of electricity here is generated by burning gas, while 10-15% is from burning coal and oil. This means we’re susceptible to the price of fossil fuels. When the price of fossil fuels goes up, which it has been doing in recent months, so too does the price of energy.
- Costs of the network - our energy bills are made up of different costs, one of which is the cost it takes to maintain both the electricity and gas networks. This includes elements such as pylons and electrical lines, as well as the pipe network for gas. These costs make up around 30% of energy customers' bills and have been increasing too.
- Renewable energy - in essence, renewable energy requires considerable investment at present in the national grid and these costs are being passed onto the consumer.
For a more detailed analysis of why energy prices are increasing see here or listen back to this recent radio interview where we discuss the reasons behind the increases.
But for now, one of the best ways to continually save money on your energy bills is by switching supplier and saving!
Can I leave my energy contract early if my supplier raises its prices?
In short, no.
With many services, such as broadband and phone, when a price increase is announced mid contract, customers are informed that if they're not satisfied with the changes, they are free to switch without penalty, so long as they switch within a 30-day period.
This isn't the case with energy suppliers because in the majority of cases, customers sign up to an agreed discount (usually expressed in percentage terms) off the standard unit rate, meaning that their contract is with the percentage discount rather than the price of the gas or electricity itself.
For example, a supplier offering a 30% discount could increase its standard prices but the customer would not be eligible to break their contract because they would still be getting a 30% discount - that hasn't changed - they're just getting a 30% discount off a higher standard unit price.
Compare energy prices on bonkers.ie
Have you looked into switching energy supplier?
If you’re out of contract, switching is worthwhile and could allow you to save over €500 a year at present on your energy bills.
For more information before you make the switch, consider taking a look at some of our helpful energy guides:
- Our frequently asked questions about switching energy supplier will help make it as easy as possible for you to switch.
- Familiarising yourself with these 10 important terms will make the switching experience less daunting.
- While price is an important factor, there are other aspects to consider when switching. Here’s a list of 7 important things to keep in mind when switching.
If you don’t feel like switching at the moment or are still in contract, there are steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption and lower your bills. Check out these 15 ways to use less electricity and save money.