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Dublin Live
Cian O'Broin & Kim O'Leary

Electric Ireland, Bord Gais and Airtricity give update on whether they will cut prices for customers

Ireland's top energy companies have released updated statements on whether or not they plan to follow rival Pinergy and drop prices for customers this year amid the cost of living crisis.

Many thousands of households are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills amid the cost of living crisis, and in recent months under packages in the Budget energy credits have been given to help them. On Monday, Pinergey became the first Irish energy provider to slash prices for their 30,000 Irish customer base, with household bills set to drop by 7.1% per home.

This week the Irish Mirror asked energy companies Electric Ireland, Bord Gais and Airtricity if they intend to drop their prices. In a statement, Electric Ireland said that price rises have been driven by wholesale gas costs, which have increased by many multiples over the past 18 months.

Read more: Pinergy become first Irish energy provider to slash prices

The energy provider explained that forward hedge contracts, up to a period of 24 months, are entered into at different times. This in turn causes a delay in a reflection of the wholesale markets and retail prices for the customer.

A spokesperson for the Electric Ireland it is very difficult to project the trajectory of residential electricity and gas prices for this reason. They said: "Electric Ireland will continue to keep its prices under constant review, and is committed to providing customers with the best value possible across a broad range of products.

"As of 1 February 2023, Electric Ireland offers the lowest Estimated Annual Bill for electricity on the market."

Meanwhile, Bord Gáis Energy said their team of expert trading analysts purchase their energy on the forward market rather than on the more volatile spot market. The market provider added that energy is bought 18 months ahead of time to protect customers from "market volatility."

They said in a statement: "For this reason, the recent downward fluctuation in wholesale energy prices is not reflected in current customer prices and won’t be for some time. Prior to today’s announcement, our Standard Variable Tarif was almost €300 below that of Pinergy’s and even after their move (on Monday), our customers enjoy a rate that is almost €100 less expensive."

The company also said that they have had a dedicated Bord Gáis Energy support team working with the most vulnerable customers, and that over 18,000 payment plans were set up during the year.

A spokesperson for the company added: "Customers on our loyalty rates will save even more and while we cannot comment on speculation about potential future price changes, we continue to keep our rates as competitive as possible and strive to protect customers from the worst increases in the wholesale energy markets."

Last year, Bord Gais pledged 10% of operating profit to their Energy Support Fund to help those most vulnerable. This equates to €3.6million which is being administered with the help of Focus Ireland, St Vincent de Paul, MABS and ALONE.

SSE Airtricity, who supply more than 700,000 Irish homes, said that energy prices are the primary concern of their customers. As a result of market volatility, the company was the first Irish energy provider to forego profits this financial year.

A spokesperson for SSE Airtricity said: "We actively monitor energy markets and, as we have done before, will look to reduce our prices as soon as it possible to do so.”

PrepayPower and Energia were both also contacted for comment.


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