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Bord Gáis: Average electricity bill to increase by 27% from next month, gas to rise by 39%

The company said its ‘winter price pledge’ is being brought to a close.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Mar 15th 2022, 4:13 PM

BORD GÁIS ENERGY has announced that both electricity and gas customers will face steep increases in their bills from next month.

The company said the average electricity bill will rise by 27% and the average gas bill will go up by 39%.

It said its ‘winter price pledge’, which reduced costs over the colder period of the year, is being brought to a close. The changes will take effect on 15 April.

Bord Gáis Energy blamed the price rises on “the persistence of high demand on gas worldwide, reduced supplies, low storage volumes, geo-political issues and late winter conditions.”

The firm said it would put in place “additional supports and services to help” in recognition of the fact “that some customers will experience difficulties in managing their bills”.

“Working in partnership with the Money Advice and Budgeting Service and other charities, Bord Gáis Energy is establishing an energy support fund and will provide tailored advice to help customers,” it said.

Bord Gáis Energy’s Managing Director Dave Kirwan said: “There have been continued increases in wholesale energy costs over the past two years, particularly in the past 12 months.

“This, together with the expectation that costs will remain both high and volatile for some time, means we are forced to increase our prices.

“We know that each customer’s circumstances are different, and we are determined to help those who need it most. That is why we are announcing an energy support fund of €1.25 million in addition to the services we already have in place,” Kirwan said. 

Responding to the price hikes, the Government said in a statement today that “the significant retail price increases announced today by Bord Gáis Energy are a matter of strong concern to the Government, particularly the impact on low income households”.

It added that “it may not be possible to shield consumers from the full impact of these increases”, but that other “significant actions” had been taken to ease the pressure on ordinary citizens.

These include the €125 increase in the Fuel Allowance, the cuts of 15c per litre of diesel and 20c per litre of petrol implemented last week; and the €200 electricity credit which has yet to be paid.

Speaking to reporters in Washington about the increases, Taoiseach Micheál Martin reiterated that message, saying that this volatility within the energy sector was being caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s also very important to say that the the war is having its impact and it’s a very, very tough impact on a lot of other people, particularly people on low incomes,” Martin said.

“This is one of the prices now that we’re paying, because of this illegal and immoral war.

“We will have to, obviously, collectively, across the European Union see how best we can work to shield our people and our citizens from these impacts – we won’t be able to do it all – but we’ll certainly continue to see how we can alleviate the pressures on people.”

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Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said that the Government was aware that there would be further price rises adding that the Government would try to cushion the cost increases.

While Ryan said that measures like the fuel allowance increase will not cover all of the increases, they would help: “The fuel allowance increase will kick in next week, again it doesn’t cover the full burden but it helps.”

Martin also confirmed that the Government was not ruling out taking profit dividends off of energy companies.

Impacts

According to Séan Moynihan, the CEO of ALONE, the rising costs of energy are particularly going to impact on older people.

“The huge increases in energy prices and the coming increases in food costs are hitting older people hard. When you have a fixed weekly income, like the State Pension, which is already below the poverty line, you have little or no disposable options you can drop out of your spending,” Moynihan said.

“Heating is most important for older people to help manage chronic health conditions, but now some people are having to weigh up their choices between heating or eating. No one should have to make these choices.”

Additional reporting from Christina Finn in Washington and Tadgh McNally

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Céimin Burke

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