Energy suppliers called upon to cut prices

ENERGY suppliers have been called on to cut their prices after new figures showed a sharp fall in wholesale electricity and gas costs – Charlie Weston

Wholesale gas prices are now 25pc lower than they were last year. There is a glut of gas in storage and weak demand, all driving wholesale costs down.

And wholesale electricity prices have fallen 14pc in the past year, according to a report from Irish wholesale energy supplier Vayu. One of the warmest winters on record and a collapse in oil prices have contributed to the record low gas wholesale prices.

Half of the electricity generated here uses natural gas.

Energy expert with price comparison site Bonkers.ie, Simon Moynihan said that suppliers did not hesitate to pass on higher wholesale costs.

"In the past, suppliers have been quick to blame wholesale prices when they increased the prices that their customers pay.

"In fact, on the same day in 2011, all suppliers increased their prices by more than 20pc and they unanimously blamed wholesale markets for those huge price increases."

Yesterday, new player Energia said it would give householders who switch to it for electricity and gas an extra 1pc discount, but no overall price cut.

The offer will mean 17pc off the standard electricity tariff and 16pc off the standard gas unit price. This will save €300 to those who switch to it for dual fuel, it said.

Suppliers here have been offering discounts and special offers for switchers, but there have been no major cuts for existing customers.

Asked why it was not cutting its standard electricity and gas rates for all customers, Bord Gais said this country was one of the most competitive markets in the world, as evidenced by high levels of switching and discounts available to customers.

Electric Ireland said it is the only supplier that has reduced prices for customers this year.



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