Energia has become the latest energy provider to increase its prices for residential electricity and gas.

The hike will be the company's third this year and will see electricity customers pay 15.7% more on their bill.

This will translate into an increase of around €223 on the average annual bill.

Gas prices will rise by 18.5%, or an average of €187 a year while dual fuel customers will pay 16.7% more.

The changes will take effect from October 18 and will affect around 160,000 electricity customers and 60,000 gas customers.

The firm says these increases are unavoidable and are the result of global energy market price increases.

"We have worked to support our customers over the course of the pandemic and this decision was not taken lightly, but was unfortunately unavoidable due to global conditions," said Andy Meagher, Director ROI Customer Solutions.

"We will continue to review wholesale electricity and gas prices, to provide customers with the best possible value and service," he added.

Daragh Cassidy, from switching website Bonkers.ie, said when previous increases are taken into account, the average annual electricity bill for Energia customers will now be around €450 higher since the start of this year, while gas customers will be paying over €320 more.

"There seems to be a crisis in the energy market at present as rapidly increasing prices in the wholesale cost of energy are being passed on to consumers, coupled with a lack of electricity output due to power plants being down that is putting further pressure on prices," he said.

"However, price increases of this magnitude and frequency are unsustainable. And coupled with recent concerns about potential power outages and pressure demands on the grid, questions need to be asked about how the market is being managed," Mr Cassidy added.