Saturday 17 November 2018

Virgin broadband and Pinergy latest services to hike prices

Virgin said the cost of its broadband would rise by €42 a year from January 14. Stock Image: PA
Virgin said the cost of its broadband would rise by €42 a year from January 14. Stock Image: PA
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Energy supplier Pinergy is the latest to signal that it is increasing its prices.

And in another blow for consumers, broadband provider Virgin Media has written to its customers to tell them prices will rise from early next year.

The combined increases are likely to wipe out any gains for households from the Budget.

Virgin said the cost of its broadband would rise by €42 a year from January 14.

Because the price rise is a change in the terms and conditions of Virgin Media contracts, customers can change or cancel their service without penalty by giving 30 days' notice to the supplier.

Pinergy said its electricity prices would rise by 7.89pc from next month, which adds an extra €66 to annual bills.

It comes after Flogas and Panda Power announced price increases for the winter in the past few days. In the summer, most energy providers raised their tariffs.

Pinergy, which offers smart meters to customers, blamed what it said was a sustained increase in wholesale energy costs on global markets.

It said wholesale costs had risen by almost a third since the start of the year.

Its new rates will take effect from November 7. The supplier had already raised its prices in August by 9.38pc, a move that added €72 to the average annual bill. This means the two hikes will result in extra costs of €138 over a full year.

A number of suppliers, including Energia, SSE Airtricity and Electric Ireland, have all hiked prices in recent months. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities said last week the average consumer could make savings of €300 a year by switching electricity and gas providers.

Eoin Clarke, of price comparison site Switcher.ie, warned consumers a raft of energy cost rises were on the way.

"As we suspected, the price hike announcements are coming in thick and fast now, and it's highly likely even more suppliers will follow suit in the coming weeks," he said.

He added that the price rises announced in August had already sent bills shooting up by up to €180 a year.

Irish Independent

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