Electric Ireland is the latest energy provider to announce a hike in its gas and electricity prices, this will impact around 1.1 million electricity customers and 145,000 gas customers.
From May 1st, electricity bills will rise by 23.4 per cent, while gas prices will increase by 24.8 per cent.
This will add around €298 a year to the average customer's electricity bill and €220 to their gas bill, according to bonkers.ie.
The company says sustained changes in the wholesale cost of energy continues to drive price adjustments.
The rise in costs will add almost €25 a month to the average electricity bill and just over €18 on to the average gas bill.
A €2 million hardship fund will remain open to customers experiencing difficulties paying bills, according to the firm.
Today’s news had been expected given the skyrocketing cost of gas on wholesale markets.
Last year there were over 35 price hike announcements from Irish energy suppliers and the trend has continued into this year with Bord Gáis Energy, Energia and PrePayPower all recently announcing price hikes.
We're in a crisis
Commenting on the news, Daragh Cassidy, head of communications at bonkers.ie said: “Today’s news was expected unfortunately given all the recent price increases that we’ve seen. And given Electric Ireland's size, it will be felt badly by many households nationwide. The small comfort is that it doesn’t come into effect until May when hopefully it’ll be far warmer. But households will just be faced with astronomical bills next winter.
“To say these are unprecedented times for the energy sector is an understatement. Price hikes from all the other suppliers are likely to follow and more price hikes from Electric Ireland later in the year can’t be ruled out.
“Since October 2020, when prices began to rise, some suppliers have announced price hikes that have added almost €1,500 to households’ annual gas and electricity bills. We’re in a crisis.”
Households looking to offset the price increases are being advised that the quickest and easiest way to save money on their energy bills is to compare prices and switch to a cheaper supplier.
“Despite the rising prices, there is still good competition among energy suppliers in Ireland for new customers right now and many are offering big discounts for a year to those who switch.
“I can’t over emphasise how quick and easy it is to switch, and it can all be done online in the space of a few minutes online on sites like bonkers.ie. You don’t even have to contact your existing supplier to let them know you’re leaving."
Households are also being encouraged to check out any Government supports which are available such as the winter fuel allowance, the free electricity allowance and the exceptional needs payment.