The energy regulator has decided to keep gas prices for homes and smaller businesses unchanged for six months from February to the end of September 2011.

The Commission for Energy Regulation has warned that consumers were likely to face increases from October 2011.

Bord Gáis CEO John Mullins has warned that if the current forecasts for the price of gas on wholesale markets turn out to be correct, price increases will be 'inevitable' at the next price review in October.

Bord Gáis has said wholesale gas prices had risen by 21% since last April, with significant increases in recent months.