Companies face electric hikes

COMPANIES are facing huge hikes in their electricity bills as a result of changes in the energy market.

The Government is shortly set to end a special rebate on electricity bills paid to large energy users, hitting key industry manufacturers in pharma and food and organisations along with hospitals.

Added to the end of the rebate, businesses also face increases stemming from extra network charges which the Commission for Energy Regulation has approved, and a rise in the public service obligation (PSO) imposed on all electricity users.

The ending of the rebate could see a six-figure bill increase of between 7pc and 8pc for some companies and may threaten competitiveness, it is feared.

The average increases will run to more than €100,000 a year according to Independent supplier Vayu, whose customers include a number of large key commercial organisations operating in this country.

Meanwhile, large hospitals, which are currently paying in the region of €1.5m a year for electricity, face increases of €120,000 a year.

Pharma manufacturers, food processors, technology companies and data centres face price hikes on a similar scale, according to Vayu's head of regulation, Bryan Hennessy.

He pointed out that most of the affected industries focus on exports, a key part of Ireland's economy that has been performing well during the recession.