By Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor
Tuesday July 12 2011
A SECOND utility company is hiking its energy prices in a move expected to be replicated by other operators.
Flogas, which supplies gas to homeowners, has pushed up the standing charge for its existing customers by 40pc. It is also reviewing the unit cost of gas.
The move comes with Bord Gais Energy due to announce tomorrow it will increase the cost of electricity for residential customers by 12pc from August.
The Flogas standing charge has risen by €12 a year, but only for existing customers.
The standing charge is the fixed amount of money that consumers pay for being provided with gas or electricity.
Flogas offers the cheapest gas in the market for households through its Option B tariff, according to David Kerr, of comparison website Bonkers.ie.
But a spokeswoman for Flogas admitted it was reviewing unit price and would make a decision when the energy regulator reviews Bord Gais Energy's gas prices.
She insisted that even if Flogas increased its gas prices in October it would still aim to remain cheaper than Bord Gais.
It was revealed yesterday that Bord Gais was seeking a rise of 28pc in the prices it charged households for gas. Because it is dominant in the gas market it needs the regulator's permission to increase prices.
A rise of 28pc would push the average family's gas bill of €737 up to almost €1,000 a year.
The Bord Gais hikes are expected to be followed by rises from ESB Electric Ireland and Airtricity.
Both ESB Electric and Airtricity said yesterday that no decisions had yet been made.