The first of many? SSE Airtricity announces significant price hike
Robyn Hamilton
Staff Writer

SSE Airtricity announced price hikes today that will increase an annual average dual fuel bill with the supplier by €140.

A typical household dual fuel bill will increase by 8.9% on average or €140 per year. For single fuel customers, the standard price of electricity will increase by 6.4% or €59 per year, while the standard price of gas will rise by 12.3% or €82 per year.*

This is the first increase in SSE Airtricity’s gas prices since 2013 but the second in electricity prices since just last September, when it increased its prices by 5.6%.

SSE Airtricity contends that continued volatility in wholesale energy markets is the reason for the hike, as the market  has seen sustained increases in fuel costs outside the direct control of the supplier, with the price of gas rising by over 20% in the last 12 months**

David Manning, Director of Home Energy at SSE Airtricity, said:

“The decision to increase energy prices is never taken lightly. It is in direct response to rising global energy costs outside of our control, and especially the sustained increases in wholesale gas prices over the past 12 months.

“We’ve done everything in our power at SSE Airtricity to protect our customers from wholesale market volatility. We’ve kept our gas prices as low as possible particularly during the recent harsh winter and we’ve worked hard to reduce our own internal costs at the same time. However, we continue to experience sustained increases in wholesale costs and regrettably, these eventually have to be reflected in our prices.”

Who will the price changes affect?

The new price changes will apply to a total of 286,613 household electricity customers and 94,576 household gas customers, based on Commission for the Regulation of Utilities ‘Electricity and Gas Retail Markets Report Q3 2017’, published 15 January 2018.

The first price hike of many?

In the latter half of last year, seven out of Ireland’s total 10 suppliers announced price hikes. SSE Airtricity is the first supplier to hike prices this year, and interestingly it was also the first of the seven suppliers to do so last year.

Will this price increase announcement be the spark to start off a chain reaction amongst the other suppliers? Only time will tell.

How can I offset these increases?  

In the warm weather and long days we are currently experiencing, it’s unlikely that energy bills have been on the minds of many of us. This price increase will come as a significant blow to customers as it is the highest we’ve seen in the energy sector for some time. The question on everyone’s mind is, is there a way to offset these price hikes?

The quickest, easiest and most reliable way to cancel out the hikes is to switch energy suppliers if you haven’t done so within the last 12 months.

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!).

Compare offers across suppliers right now to find the best deal for you and while you’re at it, check out our top ten ways to reduce your electricity usage and lower your bills.   

*Costs of increases based on a household customer on 24hr SmartSaver Standard credit meter tariffs (Direct Debit with eBilling) with a typical annual bill of €975 for electricity (consumption of 4,200 kWh) and €754 for gas (consumption of 11,000 kWh). Figures inclusive of unit rate, standing charge and VAT. Actual cost varies according to meter type, individual tariff and consumption.

**21.75% change in forward NBP wholesale gas costs based on 12-month comparison of UK Natural Gas Futures, 4 May 2017 (50.73 cent per therm average for Summer/Winter 18 product) and 4 May 2018 (61.78 cent per therm average for Summer/Winter 18 product); source: Intercontinental Exchange Settlement Prices (NYSE:ICE), Central Bank of Ireland Exchange Rates.