Bord Gais to follow competitors with 5pc electricity rise
THERE was more bad news for consumers last night as Bord Gais Energy confirmed it will increase its electricity prices by almost 5pc.
In a statement, the company said it will increase the charge for residential electricity by 4.8pc, increasing the average bill by €51, to €1,139 a year.
In addition to its own increase, the company said it would be passing on a 50pc increase in the public service organisation levy, adding another €10 a year to the average bill.
The new charges will come into effect on October 15.
Bord Gais is the latest company to increase its prices, and the move follows its decision to bump up its gas prices by 8.5pc earlier this month. Last week Airtricity said it would increase its fees for gas by 8.5pc and 4.7pc for electricity. Electric Ireland has also said it will charge its customers more.
Bord Gais blamed the hike on the higher price of energy commodities on wholesale markets, as well as the energy regulator's decision to increase the charges for use of the electricity network.
Oil and gas prices have risen steadily in recent months, while the weakening of the euro against the dollar and sterling have only exacerbated those rises for Irish firms that trade in the single currency.
Oil hit a record high when priced in euro earlier this month, while gas -- a key component in electricity manufacturing -- has also risen. Bord Gais' own Energy Index, which tracks the international markets, has trended up so far this year. It rose 4pc in August alone and is 9pc higher than the same time last year.
Bord Gais Energy managing director Dave Kirwan said the company "regretted" the increase, which was "due to factors beyond our control".
"In the current climate, we know that many families are struggling to make ends meet, and we have therefore worked hard to minimise the overall level of the increase.
"We are committed to offering customers the best value that we can and will continue to have the lowest rate for standard electricity in the market," he added.