SSE Airtricity and Budget Energy announce more price rises

Suppliers blame ‘sustained increases’ in wholesale costs for third rise in 10 months

SSE Airtricity will increase its standard household gas and electricity prices from December 1st, it has announced, with a typical household bill climbing by an average of 9 per cent.

The company said the move was in response to “sustained increases in wholesale energy costs”, which have been affecting all energy suppliers and continue to disrupt energy markets across Europe.

Separately, Budget Energy customers will also face a dramatic increase in their energy bills from November 26th, with the company announcing a 29 per cent jump in prices.

This is the third increase by each of the two suppliers this year. Most suppliers in the Irish market have raised prices several times throughout 2021 as they pass on a surge in wholesale costs to households and businesses.

SSE said typical dual fuel customers would see their household bill climb by about €3.87 a week as a result of this latest change. Single fuel customers will see an increase of €2.22 a week on the average electricity bill and €1.65 a week on the average gas bill.

These figures are based on a household with a typical annual bill of €1,406 for electricity and €1,032 for gas.

“The decision to increase our prices has not been taken lightly,” said SSE Airtricity managing director Klair Neenan.

“We made every effort to delay this announcement as long as we could but unfortunately, as we have seen with other suppliers, sustained increases in wholesale energy costs are driving consumer prices upward.”

Commitment

Ms Neenan said SSE Airtricity would “continue to monitor the situation closely with a commitment to reducing our prices as soon as it is possible to do so”.

SSE Airtricity’s most recent electricity price rise came into effect in September. Its latest announcement includes a 9.8 per cent increase in its gas unit rate and standing charge and a 9.4 per cent increase in the electricity unit rate and standing charge, in both cases leading to a 9 per cent rise in the average bill.

Peter McClenaghan, director of infrastructure and sustainability at the Consumer Council, urged anyone struggling with energy bills to contact their supplier directly for help and information.

“We will continue to work with our energy companies and the utility regulator on the development of initiatives to help consumers experiencing payment difficulties,” he said.

Source: Irish Times, by Laura Slattery, October 29th 2021