Thousands of homowners facing fresh hikes in energy bills
THOUSANDS of households may face a potential further hike in their energy bills.
The outgoing head of the company that owns Airtricity has said charges are more likely to go up than down this year, blaming record wholesale energy prices.
Ian Marchant, chief executive of British energy giant SSE, said it may be able to resist imposing increases on customers.
"I think at this stage the balance is that they (retail energy prices) are more likely to have to go up than be able to come down, but we might be able to resist that for the whole of the year," said.
Almost half-a-million Airtricity customers incurred a price hike in their annual household energy bills in October, as the company increased electricity prices by 4.7pc and gas by 8.5pc.
Average electricity bills jumped €49.92 a year, while gas prices jumped €69.16.
The company said last autumn's price increase was unavoidable. It blamed the increase in gas and electricity pass-through costs and the value of the euro versus sterling. Around 370,000 domestic electricity customers and around 110,000 domestic gas customers were affected.