Electric Ireland to hike prices between 6% and 8% from August

The company claims it is because of increases in wholesale energy prices

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Utility company Electric Ireland has said it will increase its prices for electricity and gas customers from August 1st.

Residential electricity prices will go up by 6.2% and residential gas prices are to increase by 8%.

Bonkers.ie say this could add €56.16 a year to an average electricity bill, and €55.08 a year to a gas bill.

Electric Ireland claim these increases are in direct response to "sustained increases in wholesale energy prices".

The firm is the second energy supplier to announce price increases this summer.

This is also the second increase for Electric Ireland in the last five months.

Niall Dineen, head of residential markets at Electric Ireland, said: "It has been a very difficult decision to make, but the wholesale costs required to supply electricity and gas are continuing to rise.

"Over the past number of years, we have passed on savings as a result of wholesale energy cost reductions and we remain the first supplier in the Irish market to offer enduring long term savings of up to 8.5% to our residential electricity and gas customers.

"Electric Ireland also continues to give a 5% discount to customers experiencing financial hardship, through Industry Prepayment meters and via the Household Budget Scheme."

'Low-income households'

The charity Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) said it is concerned over the impact these latest prices increases will have on low-income, energy-poor households.

It says almost half of people living in consistent poverty went without heating at some stage in the last 12 months due to cost.

While 29% were unable to afford to keep their house adequately warm.

Jennifer Thompson, social policy development officer said: "As weather patterns become more unpredictable, it is crucial that Government future-proofs supports and provides assurance for energy poor, financially vulnerable customers.

"This will be particularly important in light of the trend of increasing wholesale prices".