MORE than one million households are to be hit with a massive electricity price hike after Electric Ireland became the latest energy company to push up prices.
t is the third energy company to announce a winter rise in the latest round of price hikes.
State-owned Electric Ireland is increasing its residential electricity bills by 26.7pc and residential gas bills by 37.5pc from October 1.
The latest electricity rise will add €446 over a year to the average household’s bill.
Gas prices will surge by €516 a year due to this latest increase.
The State-owned company said international energy crisis continues to impact its costs.
It said there have been unprecedented increases in wholesale gas in excess of 700pc in the last 12 months and over 200pc since June 2022 alone.
Electric Ireland’s parent group ESB reported operating profits up 10pc to €679m for last year. Its dividend to the State rose by more than half to €126m.
This is the fifth price rise from the supplier since the start of 2021.
Head of communications at price comparison site Bonkers.ie, Daragh Cassidy, said the annual cost of Electric Ireland’s electricity has now gone up by €1,000 more a year since the start of last year.
Gas prices are now €1,100 more over a year since the five prices rises were initiated.
Electric Ireland last increased its prices in August, when it upped the price of its gas by over 30pc and its electricity by over 10pc.
Before that it raised its gas and electricity prices by almost 25pc in May.
It also increased its prices twice in 2021.
This is the fourth price hike announcement from an energy supplier in less than a week following hikes by SSE Airtricity, Community Power, and PrePayPower.
Mr Cassidy said: “To say these are unprecedented times is an understatement. Price increases of this frequency and this magnitude are clearly unsustainable.”
Electric Ireland has around 1.2 million electricity customers, and 145,000 gas customers.
Electric Ireland said it continues to have a range of measures in place to support customers, including payment plans and a €3m Hardship Fund.
Executive director, Electric Ireland Pat Fenlon said: “It is with considerable reluctance that we are increasing electricity and gas prices again for our customers, which is necessary given the continuing increases in wholesale energy prices, particularly gas.”
He said Electric Ireland realises the price increases will be difficult for many customers to absorb and it is committed to helping our customers during these difficult times.
“We encourage any customer having difficulty in paying bills to engage with us and we will work with them to agree a manageable payment plan.”