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Customers hit with seventh electricity price rise while energy companies report surging profits


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An energy supplier is raising its electricity prices for the seventh time in just over a year.

Panda Power is increasing its electricity bills by 12.7pc and its gas bills by 25.8pc from August 25.

This is Panda’s second price increase this year. It last raised its prices in May.

Last year it increased electricity prices five times and gas prices four times.

After the new price rises the average customer will end up paying about €2,500 a year for their electricity and €2,000 for their gas.

Daragh Cassidy of price-comparison site Bonkers.ie described the price rises as “astronomical”.

At the very start of last year, Panda customers were paying around €1,200 for their electricity and €900 a year for their gas, Mr Cassidy said.

“That’s an increase of around €2,400 a year. If you’re a top-rate taxpayer you’d need to be earning almost €5,000 extra to pay for the increase,” he said.

“Price hikes of this frequency and this magnitude are clearly unsustainable.”

In a notice on its website, Panda said the August 25 increases will mean electricity customers will pay an extra €287 a year on average, while the latest gas price rise will cost an additional €412 a year.

It said the increases will be lower for customers on discounted plans.

Bord Gáis Energy’s operating profits rose by 74pc in the first half of the year

Panda Energy managing director Brendan Traynor said: “Due to global factors beyond our control wholesale gas and electricity costs have continued to rise substantially and unfortunately the expectation is that these costs will remain high for the foreseeable future.”

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He said the company had done its best to absorb the costs, but was unable to prevent hiking prices again.

On Monday more than a million households with Electric Ireland accounts are to be hit by a fourth rise in electricity and gas prices in a year.

The ESB-owned energy supplier is pushing up electricity prices by 11pc and gas prices by 29pc.

It is the second Electric Ireland price hike this year, and the fourth since last year.


Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 2' gas pipeline in Germany

Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 2' gas pipeline in Germany

Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 2' gas pipeline in Germany

The latest move will add an average of €164 a year to the cost of electricity for its 1.1 million customers.

When the state-owned company’s latest increase takes effect electricity prices will have risen 67pc in the last few years.

Gas costs will be €350 a year more expensive after the latest rise.

Electric Ireland gas prices will have gone up by 93pc when the new increase is implemented.

Householders have been warned that wholesale gas costs could keep rising.

The Russians have kept gas markets guessing over whether they will reduce flows to Europe further, which has kept gas prices at elevated levels.

Gas traders have been closely monitoring the developments over Nord Stream turbines since mid-June, when Russia’s Gazprom reduced flows to 40pc of the pipeline’s capacity.

Meanwhile, Bord Gáis Energy’s operating profits rose by 74pc in the first half of the year, it has emerged.

The Irish unit of Britain’s Centrica had an adjusted profit of €39.5m in the first six months of this year.

This is up from €22.7m in the same period of last year.

The company pushed up its prices three times in the past year, in August and October last year and in April this year. Bord Gáis Energy’s customer numbers rose slightly to 513,000.

The company insisted its improved performance was due to the return to service of the Whitegate power station in Co Cork at the end of last year, which allowed it to benefit more from rising energy prices.

Parent company Centrica announced group profits of £1.34bn (€1.6bn) for the six-month period.

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