Squeezing natural gas supplies are biting customers with a series of dramatic price increases in recent weeks from many Irish energy suppliers.
Bord Gáis has become the latest to announce double-digit increases in the cost of supplying gas and electricity to customers as they face winter bills. The increase – the company’s second after even larger increases that only went into effect last month – means Bord Gáis customers will see their electricity bills increase by almost a quarter this winter, with a greater impact on gas, even if they no longer consume electricity. .
And Bord Gáis is far from the only one. Energia, Iberdrola, Panda Power, Pinergy and GlowPower customers will all face price increases next month and for two of them this is the fourth increase this year.
From next month, Flogas and Iberdrola customers will pay more than 40% more than at the start of the year for electricity.
It is no consolation that the supply crisis in Europe was known to all in power for most of the year. Nor is it the fact that, to some extent, they are just pawns in a geopolitical feud between Russia and Western Europe over gas pipelines.
Of course, an increase in post-pandemic demand from Asia has also been a factor, as has the decommissioning of a number of parts of the supply chain. But, to a large extent, this is a show of power by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Its Nord Stream 2 pipeline is completed but not yet commissioned; Coincidentally or not, supplies from Russia on existing routes have slowed.
With many families still struggling to work and in debt due to lockdowns from the Covid pandemic, this is the last thing they need. And they can no longer trust the rules of the Covid era that prohibited utilities from cutting them for unpaid bills. A long winter is looming.