The prospect of many families not being able to afford to heat their homes this winter has arisen with the announcement that Bord Gais is to increase its charges from October 1 next. Its competitors are also expected to increase prices.
The Bord Gais hike is for 380,000 customers and is expected to add close to €20 a year to the cost of gas.
On the face of it it’s not a huge increase but the fact that this and increases over the last two years will have pushed the annual bill up by €250 a year, bringing the average yearly bill close to €1,000 for the first time.
The further bad news is that electricity prices are expected to increase in the near future also, thus putting further pressure on families.
The expectation now is that the combined electricity and gas charges could rise to €2,200 on average per year. This is a considerable amount and when taken with the provisions of the next budget – which will be unveiled next month – will make for a grim time for households.
That’s because the Government has put us all on notice that the budget will be a demanding one.
Given that the increases are inevitable the search for the most competitive rates becomes more important. In this regard, sites like bonkers.ie are excellent, easy to use resources for finding the most competitive prices in the market for a whole range of services.
The emphasis will also be on, for those who can afford it, ensuring their homes are insulated to the best possible degree.
Sadly, it seems that regular energy price increases are now part of everyday life. The worry has to be that the elderly and the poor will go cold in their own homes this winter.
If that happens it will be a terrible indictment of us as a country.