Iberdrola Ireland said it will increase its gas and electriciy prices from January 1, becoming the latest energy supplier to announce price hikes.

The Spanish-owned energy company said the increase will add €12.60 (15%) onto the average monthly household gas bill and €11.55 (9.5%) onto the average monthly household electricity bill.

Iberdrola last increased its prices in October when it upped the price of its electricity by 17.5% and its gas by 18%. It also increased its prices in April and July of this year.

When all recent price hikes over the past 12 months are taken into account, customers will be paying around €560 more for their electricity each year and €408 more for their gas.

Sean O'Loughlin, head of Iberdrola Ireland, said the current conditions in the global energy market and the impact on consumer prices are well documented which will hopefully help customers understand why it needed to change its prices from the start of the year.

"We fully appreciate that this is not news that our customers will want to hear, but like other suppliers we need to respond to the increases we’re seeing in wholesale energy costs," Mr O'Loughlin said.

"We’re contacting our customers to advise them of the forthcoming changes and - as always - will continue to do what we can to help to support them," he added.

There have been over 35 price hike announcements from Irish energy suppliers this year. Some suppliers have raised prices five times.

Meanwhile SSE Airtricity, the country's third biggest energy supplier, increased its electricity prices by a further 9.4% and their gas prices by another 9.8% from today.

Customers of Pinergy will also see their electricity go up by 19% from today.

The electricity price increases will affect around 270,000 households while around 85,000 households will be impacted by SSE's gas price rise.

SSE has raised its prices three times so far this year while Pinergy has announced five price hikes.

Daragh Cassidy, head of communications at bonkers.ie , said it would not be an overstatement to say that 2021 has been a year of crisis for the energy industry.

Mr Cassidy said that Covid has created supply chain bottlenecks worldwide, putting upward pressure on prices in industries everywhere, and the energy market has been badly affected.

"The price of coal, oil, and in particular gas has skyrocketed on international markets and this has led to a huge increase in the price of gas and electricity for households," he said.

"There have been over 35 price hike announcements in 2021 so far, with some suppliers raising their prices five times, and it means gas and electricity prices in Ireland and in many parts of Europe have never been higher," he said.

But he added that despite the rising prices, there is still a lot of competition among many suppliers for new customers, who are still offering big discounts for a year to those who switch.