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energy costs

Bord Gáis prices set to rise - again - next month

Prices are set to rise by 2 per cent – although Bord Gáis had originally asked for an increase of more than 7 per cent…

BORD GÁIS PRICES are set to rise from the start of next month.

The Commission for Energy Regulation has given the go-ahead for a 2.04 per cent increase in residential gas prices, which will take effect from 1 October.

The move is bad news for consumers, but it could have been much worse – the state-run energy provider had sought a 7.2 per cent increase in residential gas prices, but this was rejected by the energy watchdog.

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) said today that Bord Gáis supply costs were cut by more than €3.5 million in a bid to keep the price increase down.

The remainder of the increase is mostly driven by lower gas demand which leads to higher network charges. The wholesale cost of purchasing the gas from Britain – which usually makes up about half of a typical gas bill – has also risen slightly, contributing to the overall increase.

The CER cited independent statistics from the European Commission’s statistics body Eurostat which show that Ireland’s residential gas prices are generally lower than the EU average.

In a statement, the watchdog said it had sought to keep any increase to prices “to the minimum necessary.”

“We would like to emphasise that there are a number of competing gas suppliers and encourage customers to shop around for the best tariff and service deal,” the statement said.

“Furthermore, any customer who has difficult in meeting energy payments is advised to engage early with [their] supplier and to organise a payment plan.”

The extended period of warm weather over the summer will help households struggling with high energy costs, but figures indicate that many people are battling to pay their bills: more than 7,000 households had their gas cut off last year for non-payment, while almost 15,000 had their electricity cut off for the same reason.

Read: Recession pushes Laois communities into action on sustainability >

Read: 21,000 had gas or electricity cut for not paying bills >

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