Wednesday 20 February 2019

Winter chill - €80 gas bill hike could be first of many

A number of suppliers including Energia, SSE Airtricity, and Electric Ireland have all hiked their energy prices in recent months. Stock image
A number of suppliers including Energia, SSE Airtricity, and Electric Ireland have all hiked their energy prices in recent months. Stock image
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Households have been warned of an "energy winter of discontent" after Flogas announced an increase in its prices for the second time in three months.

Flogas Natural Gas will be increasing its unit rate price by 9.8pc, with effect from November 1, pushing up the typical gas bill by about €80 a year.

A spokesman for price comparison website Bonkers.ie said this hike was the second in the space of mere months for hard-pressed consumers.

It estimated that the combined cost for Flogas customers would be €170 over the space of a year. The company has about 48,000 customers countrywide.

It warned that while consumers could save by switching providers, it is likely that more price hikes are on the way across the sector.

"With gas and electricity prices on international markets still up around 50pc year on year, other providers are sure to follow before the end of the year," said Daragh Cassidy, head of communications at Bonkers.ie.

"It seems like we really could be in for an energy winter of discontent."

A number of suppliers including Energia, SSE Airtricity, and Electric Ireland have all hiked their energy prices in recent months.

Flogas blamed "significant increases in wholesale gas costs over the past three months" for the latest increase.

John Rooney, managing director of Flogas Ireland said: "Wholesale gas costs have increased by 28pc in the past three months alone and are now 54pc higher than they were at the beginning of this year.

"This trend is unlikely to reverse in the mid-term and so it is very disappointing to have to make this announcement.

"We are very aware that price increases are never welcome as the winter months approach but despite a substantial streamlining of our operational costs and overheads during 2018, we still have no choice but to pass on some of the wholesale cost increase to our customers."

The company acknowledged that the changes will increase the typical gas bill by €1.54 per week, which equates to about €80 per year.

Details of the price increase will be sent to customers with their first gas bill dated after November 1.

Irish Independent

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