'Our energy bill increased by 180%' - Small business fears over price hikes

One coffee shop got a two-month electricity bill for over €9,000
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.22 30 Aug 2022

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'Our energy bill increased by...

'Our energy bill increased by 180%' - Small business fears over price hikes

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.22 30 Aug 2022

Share this article

One coffee shop owner has said the current cost of living crisis is making their business "close to unsustainable".

James, who runs the shop in Co Meath, was speaking as another café owner in Westmeath critcised her latest electricity bill.

"I got this electricity bill today, how in the name of God is this possible", Geraldine Dolan wrote on Twitter about the bill for €9,836.92.


James told Lunchtime Live there isn't much they can do in terms of costs.

"It's become to the point where the energy costs, and rising costs of everything else, have just made it close to unsustainable.

"Our energy bill has increased in the last year by 180%.

"I don't think it's obvious to a lot of people how much energy coffee shops use.

"There's no avoiding it, it's not like you can switch off the boilers or reduce that.

"It's the cost of the good - so it's not even in your overheads, it's in your direct costs for creating a product".

He said they may have to look at the prices they charge going forward.

"We are going to have to make some changes, but it's about trying to find the balance.

"How much can we swallow, and how much do we need to pass on?

"We want to keep operating, we've got a team of 12 - we want to keep those jobs and we want to keep the business going, because we absolutely love it".

'Really challenging'

Hannah owns a business in Bantry in Co Cork. She said the cost of everything is adding up.

"We own a health food shop, a deli and a bakery and we have an online shop here in Bantry.

"We're finding it really challenging at the moment.

"We're actually celebrating our 30th birthday this September... and this'll be our most challenging trading year to date.

"It's down to the cost of a lot of things, to be honest, energy is just the most recent cost to have doubled".

But she said they are probably in a better position than others.

"On the positive side for us is that we had a very good trading year in 2020.

"A lot of businesses obviously really struggled in 2020 - but because we were an essential food shop we stayed open.

"And because our website was up and running then, that took off.

"So we have some money in the bank - so it's not a limitless supply of money in the bank, but we're not in any danger of closing right away.

"But without Government support, and without some really good thinking around how to support small businesses, I'd say there's going to be a lot of small businesses having to make really difficult decisions this year".

Main image: An energy bill is seen in 2009. Picture by: Andrew Paterson / Alamy Stock Photo

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Bantry Co. Cork Co Meath Coffee Shop Cost Of Living Crisis Electricity Bill James Lunchtime Live Small Businesses Westmeath

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