Tuesday 23 October 2018

Irish families pay among the highest energy bills in EU

The Corrib field supplies 60pc of the gas used in the State
The Corrib field supplies 60pc of the gas used in the State
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Householders in Ireland are paying some of Europe's most expensive energy prices, official figures reveal.

We have the second most expensive gas in the European Union, with domestic electricity prices the fourth highest in the union.

The data also does not take account of price rises imposed by six energy companies in the last few days.

Figures from statistical body Eurostat show electricity prices in Ireland are more than 20 cents per kilowatt hour.

Only Belgium, Denmark and Portugal have higher charges in the EU and prices here are also far higher than in non-EU countries such as Iceland and Norway.

In the EU, only Sweden has more expensive gas than Ireland's, which costs just under 10 cents per kilowatt hour. Prices are cheapest in Romania and Bulgaria at around four cents per kilowatt hour.

Consumers here pay €534 more a year than those in the UK for gas, and €165 more a year for electricity, according to calculations by price comparison site Bonkers.ie.

Energy prices remain high here even though the Corrib Gas Field in Co Mayo is now supplying 60pc of the gas used in the State. Most electricity generation uses gas.

The start of this month saw a raft of energy price increases for electricity and gas come into effect.

Electric Ireland, Energia, Flogas, Panda Power and Pinergy raised their prices at the start of August, with PrePayPower and Bord Gáis following up with price increases last week.

Some householders will see their energy bills rise by as much as €200 a year.

Suppliers have blamed a jump in wholesale energy prices on international markets.

Daragh Cassidy of Bonkers.ie said energy prices here are out of line with the rest of the EU.

He said: "The latest figures from Eurostat will be hard for energy customers in Ireland to stomach, particularly as we've just seen a raft of price increases from the energy suppliers.

"Things like wages and business overheads also get factored into the price of supplying energy and these costs are also far higher in Ireland than in many other European countries."

Irish Independent

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