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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 28 February, 2020

The Ukraine crisis isn't hitting Irish energy bills yet, but here's how it might.

The Bord Gais energy index is down five per cent, but risks to the price of gas still remain.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

ENERGY COSTS WERE down 5 per cent Irish consumers during April, according to the new Bord Gais energy index.

Traders said that spectre of the crisis in the Ukraine, which is the world’s largest gas transit country, is still looming large.

However, tensions in the region are yet to have a sustained impact on prices, Bord Gais said.

Despite this, Bord Gais warned that “the on-going potential threat to European gas suppliers did push wholesale prices higher on occasion”.

Traders said that there are three main issues about the Ukraine crisis that are occupying their minds.

  • If heavy weapons are deployed would the gas pipelines be shut down?
  • Would tougher sanctions on Russia result in retaliatory moves from Moscow?
  • Would the Kremlin shut down Ukrainian supplies if it fails to settle its gas debt?

Over half of Russian giant Gazprom’s European gas deliveries went through Ukraine last year.

The main risk to energy stability comes from a Russian demand that Ukraine pay for its June gas supply up front, an action which Kiev has described as ‘discriminatory’.

Price drop

Mild weather, low demand and a steady supply of gas to the UK were the main factors that drove down the cost of energy last month.

Bord Gais trader John Heffernan said:

Wholesale gas price movements in the UK were influenced by falling demand and a significant storage overhang as a result of the mild weather.

Elsewhere, coal prices dropped by 4 per cent and electricity rates were down by 14 per cent.

Wind blows electricity price up in March>

Over 15,000 gas and electricity customers were cut-off for not paying in 2013>

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About the author:

Jack Horgan-Jones

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