OVER a million homeowners will have to fork out more money to keep the lights on from the start of next year.
Electric Ireland, which is the retailer supplier name for the ESB, has said it will freeze its prices until January but will then impose a 1.7pc rise.
The company is still the biggest electricity supplier in the country, with 1.3 million customers. The rise will mean an extra €18 for an average family over the course of a year.
Electric Ireland also said it would wait until January to implement a rise that has been mandated by the regulator to subsidise windpower and peat-generated electricity.
The so-called public service obligation (PSO) will cost an extra €17, making the full cost an extra €35 for an average family over a year.
The PSO levy was approved by the energy regulator and is supposed to take effect from the start of this month.
Last week, Airtricity said it would increase electricity prices for its customers by 3.5pc from November.
Higher electricity and gas prices will mean families will be facing bumper bills of €2,200 a year.
Executive director of Electric Ireland Jim Dollard said the company had tried to keep the increases as low as possible for as long as possible.
David Kerr of the price-comparison site Bonkers.ie advised consumers to ensure they were not on an expensive standard rate for electricity. Moving off this rate could save €130 a year.
He added: "We would encourage all customers to avail of discounts on offer from all suppliers."
Bonkers.ie said consumers were collectively overspending by €290m on their energy bills.
CHARLIE WESTON PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR – 05 OCTOBER 2013