Electric Ireland announces second major price hike in recent months
The move has been described as a "major blow to households".
Electric Ireland has announced its second price hike on electricity and gas bills in recent months.
In a statement on Friday (1 July), the company said that it will increase residential electricity bills by 10.9% and gas bills by 29.2% from 1 August, 2022.
This equates to €13.71 per month (around €165 yearly) on the average residential electricity bill and €25.96 (around €312 yearly) on the average residential gas bill.
Electric Ireland has said it understands the price increase will be unwelcome and that it delayed the rise for as long as it could.
However, it added that "the situation in Eastern Europe and a reduction in the reliability of gas flows" has resulted in sustained higher energy costs throughout Europe.
"We have seen a very substantial increase in the cost of wholesale gas, which in turn, impacts both our gas and electricity prices," Electric Ireland's Interim Executive Director Suzanne Ward said.
"We are determined to continue offering the best value we can for customers by providing one of the lowest standard electricity rates in the market.
"This rate is automatically available to all of our loyal customers – not just new customers.
"We also have flexible payment plans for those who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
"In addition, based on feedback that last year’s Electric Ireland Hardship Fund made a real difference in customers’ lives, we have pledged €3 million to a new Hardship Fund which will operate from Autumn to help customers experiencing payment difficulties at the coldest time of the year."
The previous price hike from Electric Ireland on electricity and gas bills was announced in March of this year and only came into effect in May.
Bonkers.ie has described the latest increase as a "major blow to households" and said it will impact around 1.1 million electricity customers and 145,000 gas customers.
“Today’s news was expected unfortunately. And given Electric Ireland's size, it will be felt badly by many households nationwide," Head of Communications at Bonkers.ie Daragh Cassidy said in a statement.
"We’re heading into next winter with gas and electricity prices at absolutely astronomical levels. And it might even get worse.
“To say these are unprecedented times for the energy sector is an understatement. More price hikes from all the other suppliers are likely to follow and more price hikes from Electric Ireland later in the year can’t be ruled out.
“Since October 2020, when prices began to rise, some suppliers have more than doubled their energy prices. We’re in a crisis.
“Despite these increases, Electric Ireland’s prices are still among the most competitive - if you could even use that word.
"However, its decision to significantly raise the standing charge again is disappointing.
"It means households are now being charged well over €300 a year for their electricity before they’ve even turned on a single appliance.”