Energia is the latest company to announce an increase in energy prices for customers.

The utility company plans to increase electricity prices by 8.6% and gas prices by 5.7% from 5 April, with dual fuel customers seeing prices rise by 7.4%.

In a statement Energia said the price rises were "unavoidable due to increasing external wholesale market and network costs".

It said the change would mean that the average electricity customer would see their bills rise by €102.44 per year, gas customers would see an annual increase of €48.36, while dual fuel customers would see their bills rise by €150.80 in the year.

Energia is the third energy company to increase prices in the past week.

On Monday, Pinergy said it would increase its electricity prices by 4.2% from 1 April.

Meanwhile last Friday, SSE announced a 6.2% increase in electricity prices, alongside a gas price increase of 4.5%.

Its changes will also take effect from 1 April.

"Energia is one of biggest energy suppliers in Ireland behind Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy so this increase will be felt by many customers nationwide," said Daragh Cassidy from comparison site Bonkers.ie. "And it comes at a time when energy use at home has probably never been higher due to us all being stuck indoors due to lockdown and when many might be struggling financially due to losing their job."

Energia had cut prices last summer and announced a price freeze late last year.

However Mr Cassidy said that the trend around energy pricing has now well and truly turned.

"That price freeze has well and truly come to an end for many customers as we move into spring and all eyes are now on the country's biggest gas and electricity suppliers, Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy, to see what they do," he said.