Yet Another Epic Energy Price Hike For The Wider Public To Somehow Contend With

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Cost of energy consumption. Close up of an energy saving electric light bulb and euro bank notes and coins.

SSE Airtricity is set to massively ramp up its gas and electricity prices. Its increasing the unit price of its electricity by 45.2% and the unit price of its gas by 46.3% from 1st October.

Its electricity and gas standing charges will each also go up by 8%. The move will impact around 250,000 electricity customers and 85,000 gas customers.

The increase will add almost €600 a year to the average customer’s electricity bill and over €500 a year to their gas bill.

SSE last increased its prices in May when it hiked the unit price of its gas by 39% and its electricity by over 30%. It also increased its prices three times in 2021.

When all these price increases are taken together, SSE customers will be paying over €1,000 more for their gas and €1,100 more for their electricity each year.

Today’s news had been expected given the skyrocketing cost of gas on wholesale markets.

Last year there were over 35 price hike announcements from Irish energy suppliers and the trend has continued into this year with Bord Gais Energy, Energia, Electric Ireland and PrePayPower all announcing massive price hikes.

Commenting on the news, Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie says:

To say these are unprecedented times is an understatement. Price increases of this frequency and this magnitude are clearly unsustainable. And more price hikes from other suppliers later in the year, including SSE, are almost a certainty.

Since the start of last year, some suppliers have announced even bigger price hikes that have added over €2,500 to households’ annual gas and electricity bills. It’s astronomical.”

The Government needs to decide now how it plans to help households over the coming months. Is the temporary reduction in VAT being kept? Is another energy credit going to be paid? Is the Government going to place a windfall tax on energy companies – and if so, how would this even work when many are headquartered overseas?

Households looking to offset the price increases are being advised that the quickest and easiest way to save money on their energy bills is to compare prices and switch to a cheaper supplier.

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.

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. This is the year you do not want to be overpaying for your energy.

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.