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Gas prices set to go up again this winter

HOUSEHOLDERS face rising gas prices for the second winter in a row.

Bord Gais has confirmed that customers should expect another price hike owing to soaring wholesale costs.

The increases will add €120 to the average annual dual-fuel household bill.

This move comes just eight months after Bord Gais pushed up bills by 22pc.

British Gas, the UK's biggest energy supplier, said that wholesale prices as well as increased transport costs and green taxes meant consumers would face higher bills.

Most of Ireland's gas is imported from the UK and Bord Gais is left with no option but to pass on any increases.

The cost to the company of buying gas on the wholesale market has been pushed up by 6pc within the past month alone.

The next major report due by the Commission for Energy Regulation is due to be released in July.

The last report indicated that there was no need to change prices, but the indications are that there is an added pressure on the markets which will have a knock-on effect on the customer, according to Bord Gais.

The overall cost of gas on the wholesale market is 15pc higher than last year.

Increased transport and other costs will add an extra €60 to the cost of supplying the average house this year.

In April, natural gas prices rose six per cent thanks to constraints on supply in Britain, a key supplier to the Republic, and increased demand which resulted from cold weather.

The Consumers' Association of Ireland said that consumers were not going to be able to make ends meet.

"We are among the most expensive countries in the EU when it comes to gas and electricity," he said.