The Chairperson of the Commission for Energy Regulation has said he regrets approving an 8.5% price increase in gas provided by Bord Gaís.

Dermot Nolan said he had no choice due to increases in the wholesale price of gas.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny, Mr Nolan also said it appeared that other companies are "copycatting" increases at Bord Gáis, once they are sanctioned by the commission.

Mr Nolan said that while he believed smaller gas providers faced similar difficulties in light of increased wholesale prices, he believed that de-regulating the gas market would lead to better competition and ultimately lower prices.

The Commission for Energy Regulation regulates the price of gas for Bord Gaís.