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Dublin Live
Dan Grennan

Cost of living crisis: More energy hikes on the way, says expert who explains how to 'soften the blow'

Despite the raft of energy hikes that have already hit consumer's pockets, an expert has warned more are "absolutely" on the way.

However, Head of Communications with price comparison website Darragh Cassidy advised consumers could "soften the blow" by switching provider. New Electric Ireland increases came into effect yesterday as the cost of living crisis continues.

Customers can expect to pay around €165 more on electricity a year and gas customers will be hit with an extra €300 to €310 a year. Since January 2021, Electric Ireland customers are paying around €700 more for electricity and between €600 to €700 more for gas.

Read more: Recession Ireland: Business woman and RTE host warns we must be ready for recession

Mr Cassidy told RTE: "It is a huge amount of money and believe it or not Electric Ireland have pushed through among the smallest of price increases. All suppliers have been raising prices by absolutely astronomical amounts and we are heading into a winter with really really high gas prices.

"It is almost a given [that we will see more price hikes in the coming months]. A lot of the media attention in recent weeks has been around potential blackouts and shortages of gas and electricity."

He added: "Personally, I think we will get through the winter okay but what we absolutely are certain to have is record prices. And it is almost certain that we are going to see more price increases."

The consumer expert expects household bills to increase on a range of different services. He said: "We will also be seeing prices increases later in the month from Panda, from Flogas, there was a recent increase from Pinergy and I wouldn't be surprised if we see the other suppliers which are Energia and Bord Gias Energy and SSE Airtricity announce price increases in October or November."

The war in Ukraine has resulted in gas prices sky rocketing to 10 or 12 times the amount they were this time last year, Mr Cassidy said. And because Ireland depends on gas to produce much of our electricity - this will have an affect electricity prices as well as gas.

However, there are a range of actions consumers can take to reduce their energy bills. Mr Cassidy said: "There is lots of competition, believe it or not, for new customers.

"So, the suppliers still offer good discounts up to maybe 40 percent of more for an entire year. But no one is going to be able to offset the price increases that we have seen. Households can soften the bow by switching."

He added: "That is a message that I would really like to get across. Other than that, look at different ways you can reduce energy demands in the home so getting LED lightbulbs, tackling drafts, going for cooler washes, unplugging appliances late at night."

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