THOUSANDS of residential gas users face a rise in prices in May – but the increase will only apply to existing customers.
CHARLIE WESTON, PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR
The move by Flogas to impose higher gas charges next month comes despite a price war among electricity suppliers.
Prices will rise by 1.45pc, which will mean standard rate customers will be hit by an extra €13.25 per year.
It mimics a similar-sized rise from Bord Gais for residential gas customers that is due to take effect from Monday, April 14.
Flogas has around 30,000 residential customers and had been the best value for the fuel before the rise, according to Simon Moynihan of price comparison site Bonkers.ie.
Mr Moynihan said: "Bord Gais got a 1.47pc price increase approval from the regulator a month ago. Flogas is almost exactly copying it. And you can be sure we'll see the other suppliers follow suit."
But he added: "The pricing for the Flogas new customer deal will remain with its current pricing and will remain the cheapest in the market for new customers."
The company's decision not to impose the price rise on switchers means it will still be the cheapest for householders switching to it for their gas supply.
But new entrant Energia will be the cheapest for customers who take both gas and electricity from it.
Last week Energia cut its prices for those who sign up in the next month.
The move came just weeks after its launch.
The company is responding to the move by more than 50,000 consumers to sign up for discounts through the One Big Switch campaign.
Bord Gais said it would offer the people who had signed up with One Big Switch a 10pc discount on the electricity supplies and €80 cash back if they stick with the semi-state for a year.
One Big Switch boss Oliver Tattan claimed a typical family would save €215 on electricity prices over a year.
There is no discount on gas prices for homeowners.
Energia hit back with what it claims is a 17pc discount on its standard tariffs for households that take both electricity and gas from it.
And Electric Ireland responded this week with a new offer to give electricity customers who switch to it €50 off their bill.
It means that Electric Ireland is now the best value for electricity only, the Irish Independent has learned.