Households face increases in their energy bills from today as the hike in the carbon tax kicks in.

The tax was raised by €6 to €26 per tonne of carbon dioxide in last year's budget. 

However, the increase was postponed until today on home heating fuels such as coal, peat, natural gas and home heating oil.

The increase will add €12.61 to the average household's annual natural gas bill, meaning they will now pay €58.80 in natural gas carbon tax annually.

It will also add €0.72 to a 40KG bag of coal, €0.16 to a 12.5KG bale of briquettes and €15.33 to a 900 litre fill of kerosene home heating oil.

"With all that's going on right now due to Covid-19 and with hundreds of thousands of people having been laid off, this government tax increase couldn't have come at a worse time," Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at said.

"And although energy suppliers have announced reductions in the price of gas recently on the back of falling wholesale prices, this increase in the carbon tax will reverse some of those savings."

In terms of petrol the increase has led to the cost of the carbon tax component of a 60 litre fill increasing from €3.39 to €4.42, and for diesel from €3.93 to €5.11.

The carbon tax does not apply to electricity, where a public service obligation (PSO) levy is applied instead.

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