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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Electricity prices way above EU average

Electric Ireland reduced its standard rates by 6pc from this month after its parent company, ESB, made operating profits of €630m last year Stock photo: Depositphotos
Electric Ireland reduced its standard rates by 6pc from this month after its parent company, ESB, made operating profits of €630m last year Stock photo: Depositphotos
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Householders here pay the third highest electricity prices in the European Union, despite having seven suppliers in the market.

And new figures from Eurostat also show that domestic electricity charges here are the second highest in the EU, once taxes and levies are stripped out.

The European Union's statistics agency found that prices here were way higher than the average across 28 countries.

A statement from the European Commission office in Dublin confirmed the new figures show that Irish households pay more for their electricity than anywhere else in the EU except Germany and Denmark.

When taxes are excluded, Irish households pay more than anywhere in Europe, except the UK.

The EC spokeswoman said: "The picture is somewhat better for gas, with Irish households coming in ninth place in the rankings.

"When taxes are discounted, domestic Irish gas prices are the sixth highest in the EU."

However, the figures for the second half of 2015 show that domestic energy prices here fell in contrast to many EU countries.

Electricity prices fell by 3.2pc in the second half of last year compared with the same six months in 2014. Gas prices were down 2.8pc.

Energy companies have been heavily criticised for failing to cut prices more at a time when wholesale gas prices, the main input here, have fallen by half.

Electric Ireland reduced its standard rates by 6pc from this month, in a move that will save the average household €58 a year. It came after its parent company, ESB, made operating profits of €630m last year.

But the other six suppliers have yet to announce price cuts.

Mark Whelan of price comparison site Bonkers said: "This news will undoubtedly lead to more calls for suppliers to cut their prices. However, suppliers will likely point to the statistic that Ireland actually had the third largest decrease in electricity prices in 2015, at 3.2pc."

He said householders can save €235 by switching electricity suppliers, but 1.9 million electricity customers didn't do so.

Irish Independent

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