Consumers will get a welcome boost next month with the announcement that gas prices are to be reduced by 9.8%.

According to Bord Gáis, this will see the average household gas bill reduced by around €180 a year.

The Commission for Energy Regulation also revealed that electricity prices will be cut by 0.2%.

Energy prices are inextricably linked to demand and as a consequence of the global economic downturn, the demand for oil and gas has dropped.

Last May, prices went down significantly - today's announcement means they will decrease yet again next month.

Bord Gáis says gas prices are 22% lower than they were in 2006.

Today's price reductions are in line with predictions, but consumers can expect to see price increases when the global economy eventually regains momentum.