Gas prices may increase for all residential customers if permission is granted to Bord Gáis Energy to increase prices by over 7.5%.

The Commission for Energy Regulation has two weeks to consider the request.

It is widely expected to sanction the increase despite the fall in gas prices globally.

Bord Gáis Energy provides gas to 70% of all residential customers.

If the price increase is approved the average yearly gas bill will increase by €65.

Bord Gáis Energy has defended the increase saying that 90% of its prices are determined by the wholesale cost of gas and network charges.

It says it expects both of these to increase over the next six months.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul has said that it is very concerned about the statement.

It said that last year it had spent €7m helping families pay energy bills.