Stronger wholesale gas, coal and electricity prices offset lower Brent crude oil prices in August, which resulted in an unchanged reading for the Bord Gáis Energy index for the month.

The energy index stood at 128 in August.

Bord Gáis said that the crisis in Ukraine and the threat of an all out war between Ukraine and Russia dominated the energy market last month.

This led to a lot of price volatility in UK wholesale gas prices, which led to higher wholesale electricity and European coal prices.

The natural gas element of the index rose by 9% in August, the energy index reveals, as supply restrictions and rising demand pushed wholesale prompt prices higher. 

The coal element of the index increased by 3% due to the crisis in Ukraine, while the electricity element rose by 1% - the first monthly increase since March of this year. 

The increase is due to rising wholesale gas prices in the UK. Gas powered generation dominates the electricity generation mix on the island of Ireland and so the price of imported gas from the UK has a big influence on Irish wholesale electricity prices.

But Brent crude oil prices fell 1% in the month as increased African supply levels weighed on crude markets. Despite growing geopolitical risks over much of the oil producing world, oil prices have remained "eerily calm" according to the International Energy Agency.  

Bord Gáis energy trader John Heffernan said that as winter approaches and in the absence of an interim solution in Ukraine, European gas supplies will look increasingly vulnerable as Ukrainian gas demand rises and European stocks are eroded. 

"With Ukrainian stock levels far below where they are required heading into winter, the markets fear that Ukraine may be forced to siphon off Russian gas bound for Western Europe, leaving it more exposed in the peak demand period. The potential for peace became a possibility at the start of September but the threat of sanctions and the on-going Gas War will remain a concern," Mr Heffernan said.