By Cate McCurry, PA
Electric Ireland has announced a further hike in its energy prices for residential customers.
From November, households will see an increase in electricity by 9.3 per cent and gas prices rise by 7 per cent.
The hike will add just over €108 a year in electricity costs and an extra €58 to annual gas bills.
The decision will affect more than one million electricity customers and some 145,000 gas users.
The company said the move was in response to unprecedented global increases in wholesale energy costs.
It is the second time the company announced a price hike after it confirmed a 10 per cent price increase in August.
The Consumer Council said that Friday’s announcement means that, in the last 10 months, it has increased prices by over 27 per cent.
Raymond Gormley, head of energy policy at the Consumer Council, said: “This news will adversely impact all Electric Ireland customers already experiencing financial pressures on their household budget especially considering it is the third increase by the supplier this year.
“Consumers who are struggling with their energy bills should contact their supplier directly to find out how they can help during this time.
“The Consumer Council would encourage all consumers to think about ways they can reduce their energy costs.
“Switching payment option, changing billing method or switching supplier can save some money.”
Electric Ireland confirmed that as part of their licensing agreement, there will be no exit fee applied to customers who switch to another supplier before October 31st.
Mr Gormley added: “The Consumer Council will continue to work with our energy companies and the Utility Regulator on the development of initiatives to help consumers experiencing payment difficulties.”