Electric Ireland has announced plans to increase electricity and gas prices for the third time this year.
The State-owned supplier says it will hike residential electricity bills by 26.7 per cent and gas bills by 37.5 per cent from October 1.
The rises will equate to €37.20 per month on the average residential electricity bill and €42.99 per month on the average residential gas bill.
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More than 1 million electricity customers and 175,000 gas customers will be hit in the latest cost of living blow.
It marks the third time this year, and the fifth time since the start of 2021, that Electric Ireland has hiked its prices.
In July, it announced plans to increase residential electricity bills by 10.9 per cent and gas bills by 29.2 per cent from August 1.
In March it announced plans to increase residential electricity prices by 23.4 per cent and gas prices by 24.8 per cent from May 1.
There were two further price increases in 2021.
The latest price hike is being blamed on “unprecedented increases in international energy market prices”.
Executive Director Pat Fenlon said: “This continues to be a very challenging time for customers, and an unprecedented time in the energy industry with increases to wholesale gas prices in excess of 700% over the last 12 months and 200% since June 2022 alone.
“It is with considerable reluctance that we are increasing electricity and gas prices again for our customers, which is necessary given the continuing increases in wholesale energy prices, particularly gas. To put that into context, this time last year wholesale gas prices for winter were circa. GBP£1.15 per therm, and as of last week, this winter’s prices were circa. GBP£7.70 per therm.
“We realise these price increases will be difficult for many customers to absorb and we are committed to helping our customers during these difficult times. We encourage any customer having difficulty in paying bills to engage with us and we will work with them to agree a manageable payment plan.
“In addition, our €3 million Electric Ireland Hardship Fund is available and will be administered on our behalf by our partners SVP (Society of St Vincent de Paul) and MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service).”
This is the fourth winter price increase announced by energy suppliers in Ireland in less than a week. SSE Airtricity, Community Power and PrePayPower also confirmed their prices would be going up.
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