The Irish Times has reported that consumers are facing a
substantial hike in energy costs next year as fuel prices
hit suppliers such as the ESB and Bord Gáis.
Sources at both companies have acknowledged that such cost
increases were "inevitable" in light of rising oil and natural
gas prices on world markets. Neither could say by how much
prices for householders would increase, but Bord Gáis
is expected to give some indication when it publishes its
2007 results - expected immediately.
in Britain, Centrica has already said that it intended to
increase its charges - as high wholesale prices were squeezing
its profits - and it is thought that the UK natural gas supplier
could hike its prices by as much as 20 per cent. Industry
sources have said that, as the same cost pressures apply here,
Bord Gáis could seek permission from the Commission for
Energy Regulation (CER) to impose a similar increase.
The ESB's power plants, which supply about 1.7 million households
in the Republic, largely depend on fossil fuels such as natural
gas and coal to generate electricity. Fuel is the company's
single biggest cost and increasing oil prices mean that generating
electricity is getting more expensive.
Headed by Tom Reeves, CER determines the price that householders
pay for both gas and electricity. The ESB and Bord Gáis
have to make submissions to the regulator in July seeking
permission to cut or raise domestic charges for 2009. The
regulator will then set the charges.
As oil and gas prices fell last year, CER allowed both Bord
Gáis and the ESB to cut their domestic charges for 2008.
This resulted in savings of €100 a year on the average
gas bill and €50 on electricity costs. However, oil has
hit a record $126 a barrel, while natural gas prices have
just hit a record 86.5 pence per unit in London.
Source - The Irish Times