LEADING energy provider Bord Gáis has denied it is profiting from the war in Ukraine.
It comes after the company announced a massive increase in its standing charges as well as huge rises in its unit costs of electricity and gas for domestic customers.
The chairman of the Consumers’ Association Michael Kilcoyne questioned why the standing charges were going up and accused Bord Gáis Energy of “trying to make money from the Ukrainian war by increasing standing charges for both fuels”.
Mr Kilcoyne also called for a probe into Bord Gáis Energy’s decision to impose massive increases in its standing charges, and accused the British-owned company of price gouging.
But Bord Gáis Energy hit back saying the accusation that it is profiting from the war in the Ukraine “is both baseless and disrespectful and Bord Gáis Energy utterly refutes it”.
“The accusation, made by Mr Michael Kilcoyne of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland, is untrue, offensive to the company and its employees, and disrespectful of the tragic circumstances and loss of life in Ukraine.
“Bord Gáis Energy will write to Mr Kilcoyne to ask him to withdraw his comments.”
The company had announced earlier this week that it is increasing its unit electricity rates by 27pc and its gas rates by 39pc from next month, blaming record highs for wholesale gas on international markets.
But it later emerged it is also increasing its standing charges for electricity and gas customers by the same amounts.
Electricity standing charges for Bord Gáis customers will now be close to €300 a year when the latest price hikes come into effect next month.
The new standing charge for gas will be €177 a year.
It has around 350,000 residential electricity customers, and around 300,000 gas customers.
Bord Gáis said the increases announced this week were regrettable, but the standing charges remain significantly lower than global energy cost increases over the past 12 months.
“In this volatile market, the cost of wholesale energy has increased substantially which has impacted both the standing charge and the unit rate. It is completely unconnected to the war in Ukraine.”
It said it had put in place a €1.2m energy support fund to help customers who experience difficulties in managing their bills.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) said suppliers do not have to submit or seek approval for increases in standing charges.