Dairymen to be hit by electricity rises
Thousands of dairy farmers face major hikes in their electricity bills following a series of recent price increases by all the main electricity suppliers.
A 14.8pc rise in electricity charges by ESB, which came into force last month, will cost milk suppliers with a 100-cow herd an additional €480 a year on average, while those with a 60-cow herd will pay €290 more.
The move by ESB follows the decision by Bord Gáis and Airtricity to lift prices by 12pc.
The latest price increases have been blamed on higher gas prices, which is the main energy source for electricity power plants.
A spokesman for ESB said gas prices had increased by 40pc since late last year, and that these higher costs were now being reflected in electricity charges.
While forward gas prices have fallen back from the peak levels hit this summer, he claimed the underlying trend in the market was upward.
He saidESB prices would increase by 12pc as the Government levy for using energy from renewable sources -- the PSO levy -- had fallen from 4.8pc to 2pc.