Rising energy and fuel costs - The Last Word

Image audioRising energy and fuel costs - The Last Word

As the weeks go on, it seems that Irish energy customers are receiving one hit after another. 

The latest news is that the importation of Russian oil will be banned across Europe, meaning that Ireland will be competing for energy now more than ever. 

As well as that, the energy supplier Iberdrola is leaving the Irish energy market. 

Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, Daragh Cassidy, appeared on The Last Word to give us more detail on these events and tell us what exactly people can expect. 

What is the current price of petrol and diesel? 

Both petrol and diesel are heading back towards the €2 mark at most petrol stations despite the Government's excise reduction of 20 cents per litre of petrol, and 15 cents per litre of diesel.

With the banning of Russian oil and with rising costs, the sky's the limit for petrol and diesel prices. 

What do you think of the Government reductions?

You do wonder where the Government reductions went because when the excise reduction came into effect, prices went back up fairly quickly. 

People might be wondering whether the reductions have been taken as excess profits, by the forecourts, or by the middlemen. 

In 2007 and 2008 the price for a barrel of oil reached its peak at around €150, and petrol prices then were less than they are now.

So, we’re paying more now than we were back then. 

While there have been changes to carbon tax and VAT, it does look like money is being taken somewhere along the line. 

Are petrol stations not competing for customers? 

There’s never been a lot of competition between petrol stations, and they charge similar prices. 

They also understand their customers. 

If a motorist thinks the price is too high at one petrol station, they’ll drive their savings away by looking for a slightly cheaper station, so most people won’t do that. 

Shopping around in this instance isn’t something that people can do.

How will energy prices change? 

Europe gets around 40% of its gas and 30% of its oil from Russia, so trying to replace that in a few weeks or months is going to be very difficult and very expensive.

While Ireland isn’t directly impacted by the Russian energy ban, other countries such as Germany and Poland are, and they will now be looking elsewhere for their energy.  

This means that we will have more competition for the same energy, meaning higher prices. 

On top of all this, we’re also trying to transition to renewable energy, which is costing double to build compared to elsewhere in Europe.

Some wind farms at auction, for example, are costing more than what gas can deliver. 

So, even if we reach our renewable energy goals, it won’t bring down prices a lot. Record energy prices should be expected for the foreseeable future.

What will happen to Iberdrola's customers? 

Out of all the energy providers in Ireland, Iberdrola was never a huge player with only around 35,000 customers compared to the likes of Electric Ireland with over 1,000,000 electricity customers, and Bord Gais Energy with over 300,000 gas customers.

Until recently, there were 14 energy suppliers in Ireland which is a huge amount compared to the size of Ireland.

Something was always going to change and things still can change, especially with rising energy prices

For people impacted by Iberdrola leaving, you don’t need to do anything. 

You’ll be automatically moved over to Electric Ireland and Bord Gais Energy for electricity over the coming months, as they’re the Suppliers of Last Resort (SoLR). 

That doesn't mean that you can’t shop around, as you won't get a discount when you automatically switch to these suppliers. 

New customers can get a discount of up to 40% if they look, so my advice is to shop around.

Start switching on bonkers.ie to start saving

Although times are tough for energy customers, you can still save money by switching energy providers using bonkers.ie. 

To learn more about saving money on your energy bills, read our guides:

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