SSE Airtricity is the latest energy supplier to increase prices as the energy crisis facing Irish consumers continues.
On Friday, the company announced that the unit price of its electricity would be increasing by 30 per cent and the unit price of gas would be increasing by 39 per cent from May 1st.
The move is set to impact an estimated 250,000 electricity customers and 85,000 gas customers.
Customers will see an additional €338 on their electricity bill per year while €333 a year will be added to gas bills.
In a statement, Klair Neenan, managing director of SSE Airtricity said: “We know this price change will be disappointing for our customers and today’s announcement will not be welcome news.
“Throughout winter, we have worked hard to limit the local impact of the global energy crisis by absorbing record high wholesale energy costs, hoping to see pressure on prices ease.
“Sadly, this has not been the case and energy prices continue to demonstrate sharp volatility and upward pressure. Regrettably, this must now be reflected in our prices.
“As always, I would encourage any customer who is concerned about their energy costs to please contact us, and we will work with you to find a solution together.”
The company also announced the expansion of its existing customer support fund by an additional €1 million to "provide direct support to customers in difficulty".
Amid the prices increases, the company will also be making a €1 million charitable donation which will be used to support people who are struggling with the cost of living.
Daragh Cassidy, head of communications at bonkers.ie, said the news was expected given the recent increases by other companies.
“The small comfort is that the increase 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,” Mr Cassidy said.
“To say these are unprecedented times for the energy sector is an understatement. More price hikes from suppliers later in the year can’t be ruled out.”
Prices in the sector began to rise in October 2020. Since then, some suppliers have announced price hikes that have added almost €1,500 to households’ annual gas and electricity bills.
“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,” Mr Cassidy explained.
“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.
“I’d also encourage households to check out any Government supports which are available such as the winter fuel allowance, the free electricity allowance and the exceptional needs payment.
“Some suppliers have also set up hardship funds which will provide financial support to those most in need, so I’d encourage people to chat to their suppliers too.”
The news comes after SSE last increased its prices in December with gas increasing by 9.8 per cent and electricity increasing by 9.4 per cent.
On Wednesday, Electric Ireland announced a price increase, which will hit hundreds of thousands of customers across the island.
Electric Ireland customers are now facing increases of 23.4 per cent for electricity bills, while gas prices are increasing by 24.8 per cent.
It comes in the wake of similar moves by Bord Gáis Energy and Energia.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the Government cannot respond to help people with the cost of living crisis on a weekly basis.