Energy crisis | 

Electricity and gas bills set to reach €1,200 for just two months during winter

Bord Gáis hits consumers with 34pc hike in latest price-rise frenzy

Electricity bills alone are set to rise to around €500 by November. Photo: Stock image

Charlie WestonIndependent.ie

Families are braced for huge energy bills of €600 each for gas and electricity as we head into winter.

The bi-monthly bills will shock customers as we head into the colder and darker months, and play havoc with household finances.

It is predicted consumers can expect to pay a total of €1,200 for gas and electricity for just two months in winter.

As the energy crisis bites, it is feared more than two million people will be facing into fuel poverty.

It comes after Bord Gáis Energy became the fifth supplier to hike its prices in the latest wave of cost rises.

Bord Gáis Energy is raising electricity prices by 34pc from October 2. This will add €579 a year to the average annual electricity bill.

Gas is going up 39pc, adding €525 a year to the cost of that fuel for households.

It increased electricity prices three times last year, and gas twice. Bord Gáis’s profits rose 74pc to almost €40m last year.

When all increases are taken into account, households will be paying more than €1,300 extra for their electricity and more than €1,100 for their gas over a year.

Average electricity bills for SSE Airtricity customers have doubled to €2,323 since the start of last year, after five price rises.

Electric Ireland’s electricity bills are going up by more than €1,100 a year over the same period. This is a doubling in average annual bills to €2,177, according to calculations by Bonkers.ie.

The ESB subsidiary has pushed up its electricity and gas prices five times since the start of 2021, with the most recent rise only last month.

The price-rise frenzy means electricity bills alone will rise to around €500 by November. Gas bills could hit €350 as soon as next month, according to calculations by Daragh Cassidy of Bonkers.ie. But they will be even higher after Christmas.

“In January people are looking at over €600 for their bi-monthly electricity bill and €600 for their bi-monthly gas bill,” he said. This is more than double last year’s cost.

When home heating oil costs are included, most families will now have to pay around €4,300 over a year for heating and electricity, twice as much as last year.

This will rip family budgets apart and will plunge more than two million people into fuel poverty this winter.

This is based on figures from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

The ESRI looked at the impact of the various price increases in electricity, gas, home-heating oil and solid fuels earlier this year.

It now estimates that 43pc of households could now be in energy poverty.

This figure equates to just over 800,000 households. That implies around 2.25 million people will face fuel poverty this winter.

Fuel poverty is defined as households having to spend more than 10pc of net income on energy. This excludes the cost of motor fuel.

Average annual earnings are €45,324 a year, according to the Central Statistics Office.

If 10pc of this has to be spent on energy, it implies at least €4,300 will be taken up with heating and lighting costs by the average earner.

It means there is mounting pressure on the Government to come up with a massive bail-out package for households and small businesses in next month’s Budget.

And a spate of price rises means projections that more than two-thirds of households would be pushed into energy poverty may be realised.

This was a worst-case scenario drawn up for the State’s energy crisis oversight group by the ESRI.

Mr Cassidy said: “Since the start of January 2021 most suppliers of electricity and gas in this market have doubled their prices.”

Home-heating oil costs have also doubled.

Figures projected by the ESRI show that runaway energy prices rises will add €2,000 to the costs faced by families.

And an even larger number of families could find themselves in fuel poverty if the current wave of rises continue on the back of surging wholesale gas prices.

ESRI calculations indicate that seven out of 10 families would be in fuel poverty if prices doubled on 2021 figures.


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