Iberdrola to increase prices for third time this year - East Coast FM
This week Iberdrola announced that it was joining Pinergy, Flogas, and Panda Power in increasing energy prices for the third time this year. This price hike will add around €217 to the average customer’s annual electricity bill and €154 to the average annual gas bill.
Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, Daragh Cassidy, appeared on East Coast FM to discuss the reasons why energy prices are on the rise and how bill payers can save money by switching suppliers.
Here’s an outline of the main points discussed by Daragh in the interview.
Why are prices increasing?
There are three main reasons for the price increases:
- The price of coal and gas in particular has gone up hugely over the last few months. With up to 60% of our energy still generated from the burning of fossil fuels, these price increases push our bills up.
- It hasn’t been as windy over the last few weeks as it usually is. This can put pressure on supply and prices. According to the World Climate Service, June and July of this year were two of the least windy months ever on record.
- There have been two big gas-fired power plants, one in Cork and one in Dublin, that have been out of action in recent months. They produce around 15-20% of our electricity and due to Covid they’ve been out of action for longer than usual, so we haven’t been producing as much electricity.
Are we making progress with renewable energy?
We are making good progress when it comes to renewable electricity generation. However when it comes to aspects like transport, we’re not doing as well as the rest of Europe.
If we look back to 10 or 15 years ago, all of our electricity was being generated from burning coal and peat, but we’ve made a shift towards producing wind energy now. We still use a lot of gas, which is a fossil fuel but is far less polluting than coal, oil and peat.
Renewable energy is good for the environment, but it’s not necessarily good for the pocket. There can be a common misconception that renewable energy is free, but that’s not the case. It can also be volatile, for example when it’s not windy.
Always shop around
Some suppliers haven’t increased prices as much as others. Electric Ireland, which is one of the biggest suppliers, has held out and only increased prices once so far. It will likely increase prices again over the next few weeks though.
There is value to be had by shopping around. You can get a great new customer discount if you switch, often up to 40% off standard rates for one year. Based on average usage, you could save around €500 per year, which would offset the price increases.
It’s so quick to switch energy supplier and you only need a few things on hand to make the switch:
- A GPRN number if switching gas and an MPRN number if switching electricity
- A recent meter reading
- A good estimate of how much energy you use
- Some personal details
You can read our helpful guide on what you need to switch suppliers for further information.
Most energy contracts last for one year, with some lasting two years. If you’re still in contract, you could be subject to an early exit fee if you switch suppliers. If this is the case, you can always opt to try and reduce how much energy you use instead.
Let’s hear from you
Are you an Iberdrola customer? Were you expecting a third price increase? We’d love to hear your thoughts.