Energy supplier Flogas has today announced another increase in its electricity and gas prices for residential customers.
With effect from November 20, Flogas said there will be an 19% increase in its standard rate and standing charges for electricity, and a 26% increase in natural gas unit rates and standing charges.
The increases will mean a €5.59 weekly increase (including VAT) for natural gas customers and €5.95 a week increase for electricity customers, which also includes VAT.
The company said the price hikes come after months of historically high wholesale energy costs, as well as continuing market supply cost issues specific to Ireland.
It said that increasing demand for electricity, combined with continuing outages in thermal generation plants, have put significant upward pressure on electricity supply costs.
In the wholesale gas markets there has been a further deterioration in the medium-term costs of gas, driven by continuing global demand and uncertainty of supply, it added.
Paul Kenny, general manager of Flogas Energy, said that while its "prudent" hedging policy has helped it avoid more significant increases to date, the reality is that future supply costs have increased for the next quarter by 56% from where they were only one month ago.
"We sincerely regret having to make further increases in our prices but unfortunately it remains difficult to forecast any significant improvements in the medium term.
We are continuing to work hard to keep our prices as low as possible for our customers and will be continually reviewing our rates as the market changes," Mr Kenny added.
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 that some suppliers have announced price hikes that will add up to €800 a year to energy bills.
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 the country's electricity. He also said that the level of wind output has been lower than usual.