Electric Ireland has today announced its second price increase for residential customers this year, becoming the latest energy provider to raise prices.

The company said its residential electricity prices will rise by 9.3% and gas prices by 7% from 1 November.

It said the increases equate to €9.02 a month on the average residential electricity bill and €4.85 a month on the average residential gas bill.

The company said the increase was due to the "unprecedented" recent increases in wholesale energy costs.

Electric Ireland last raised its prices on 1 August, when the price of its electricity rose by 9% and its gas prices went up by 7.8%.

Today's news had been expected given the raft of price increases that have been announced so far this year on the back of skyrocketing wholesale energy costs and wider issues with the energy market.

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There have been over 30 price hike announcements from Irish energy suppliers since the start of the year, while some suppliers have raised prices several times.

Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, said this is Electric Ireland's second price increase this year.

But several suppliers have raised prices three times already, while Panda Power has raised its prices four times.

He said that some suppliers have announced price hikes that will add up to €800 a year to energy bills, adding that Electric Ireland's price increases are at the lower end of the scale.

"Still, as we move into the darker and colder months when energy demand around the home typically soars, many households will feel the pinch," he added.

Explaining the reasons for the recent price increases, Mr Cassidy said that a lot of the country's electricity is still generated from burning coal and gas in particular.

He said the price of these fossil fuels collapsed at the height of the pandemic, but gas in particular has increased hugely in recent months as the world economy opens back up.

"Covid-related supply chain bottlenecks have created a mismatch between supply and demand in several industries, putting pressure on prices. and the energy market has been particularly hard hit," he added.

Mr Cassidy said that to make things worse, two large power plants have been out of action for maintenance reasons over the past year or so: the Whitegate plant in Cork and the Huntstown plant in Dublin.

Together these usually supply around 15% or more of our electricity. He also said that the level of wind output has been lower than usual.