Electricity pylon and cables in the night sky

Airtricity announces electricity price rise

Announcement comes on top of gas price rise

Airtricity has confirmed that it is to raise its prices by 3.5% on electricity from 1 November 2013.

This makes it the first energy supplier to raise its electricity prices in the run-up towards winter. However it is now widely expected that Electric Ireland and Bord Gåis Energy will follow Airtricity and announce a similar price rise. Around 380,000 domestic electricity customers will see their prices change from 1 November 2013.

Airtricity’s announcement brings their average annual electricity bill up to €1,156, and comes at a time when households are already struggling to keep up with the cost of energy in Ireland. With this electricity price rise Airtricity customers can expect to pay an additional €39 per year.

On September 6 Airtricity announced that it is raising its gas price rises by 2% from 1 October 2013. The PSO levy on electricity bills also increases by €17.08 on 1 October. Customer can now expect to pay an additional €76 per annum for their gas and electricity bills.

What’s to blame?

In what has become a common theme in electricity price hikes, Airtricity blamed ‘increases in the cost of using the energy networks to distribute electricity to customers’ homes along with the increased cost of buying energy in global markets’. Airtricity stated that due to a combination of factors, the company can no longer continue to absorb the rising costs it is facing and must now reflect these costs in its household electricity prices from November.

Stephen Wheeler, Airtricity Managing Director, said : “Unfortunately the factors that contribute to the cost of energy all cost more than they did last year. As a result we cannot continue to absorb the sustained increases in energy costs that we are facing.

That’s why the price increase that we are announcing today, although completely regrettable, cannot be avoided. “As always, we will continue to do more to keep our energy prices affordable and in particular to help our customers experiencing financial difficulties to find sustainable ways to manage their energy costs.

That’s why our customers most in need using Pay-As-You-Go meters get our cheapest Standard rate, and why our Pay-As-You-Go prices are the cheapest in the market. “We will continue to do all we can to work with policy makers and the Commission for Energy Regulation to promote an increased uptake of Pay-As-You-Go meters, which have already proven highly-effective in assisting customers in need in better managing their energy costs, and to seek further sustainable improvements to current debt arrangements in the market.”

A hammer blow

At the time of the announcement, Eoin Clarke, Head of Switcher.ie said : “This is another hammer blow for energy bills this side of Christmas. “Consumers now face a winter of rationing their energy usage - many will be forced to turn their heating down or off for fear of the impact of these hikes. “Some households are already performing a juggling act to balance budgets and keep their heads above water. And the added pressure of the latest round of energy rises may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. “However, we welcome Airtricity’s commitment to customers who have difficulty paying their energy bills. This could be a lifeline for many. “Consumers who don’t shop around for a competitive energy tariff may have a bitter pill to swallow following this round of price rises. “However, all is not lost. There are still some competitive price plans available that will help customers reduce the size of their energy bills. If consumers take control of their bills right away and manage their energy usage efficiently, they can defend themselves from these price hikes.”

What should I do?

When was the last time you switched? It’s advisable to run a free energy comparison – the majority of us are STILL not on the cheapest plan and with rising prices, this is more important than ever. Compare energy suppliers and switch to the deal that saves you money and suits your household.