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SSE Airtricity to raise energy prices from December 1

SSE Airtricity said its price hikes will see a typical household bill increase by 9% on average

SSE Airtricity said it will again increase its standard household gas and electricity prices from December 1, becoming the latest energy provider to raise prices in recent weeks.

The supplier is increasing the price of its electricity by 9.4% and the price of its gas by 9.8% from December.

The company said the price hikes will see a typical household bill increase by 9% on average, which is equivalent to around €3.87 a week for dual fuel customers.

Single fuel customers will see an increase of €2.22 a week on the average electricity bill and €1.65 a week on the average gas bill.

The latest increase will add around €115 a year to the average household’s annual electricity bill and €86 to the average annual gas bill.

SSE last increased its prices in September, when it upped the price of its electricity by 10.6% and its gas by 10.7%.

There have been over 30 price hike announcements from Irish energy suppliers since the start of the year. Some suppliers have raised their prices four times.

SSE Airtricity said the price change is due to sustained increases in wholesale energy costs that have affected all energy suppliers and continue to disrupt energy markets across Europe.

Klair Neenan, Managing Director of SSE Airtricity, said the decision to increase prices has not been taken lightly.

“We made every effort to delay this announcement as long as we could but unfortunately, as we have seen with other suppliers, sustained increases in wholesale energy costs are driving consumer prices upward,” Klair Neenan said.

“We know price increases are never welcome news for our customers and we will continue to monitor the situation closely with a commitment to reducing our prices as soon as it is possible to do so,” she added.

Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, said that today’s news was almost inevitable given all the recent price increases seen recently.

“This is SSE’s third price increase of the year and to be honest more increases can’t be ruled out,” Mr Cassidy said.

Commenting on the reasons for the recent price increases, he said that a lot of the country’s electricity is still generated from burning coal and gas in particular.

The price of these fossil fuels collapsed at the height of the pandemic but has increased significantly in recent months partly due to supply chain bottlenecks because of Covid. For example the price of gas has shot up by over 200% in recent weeks, he explained.

The Huntstown plant has recently come back on line

“To make things worse, two large power plants have until recently been out of action for maintenance reasons: the Whitegate plant in Cork and the Huntstown plant in Dublin. Together these usually supply around 15% or more of our electricity,” he said.

The Huntstown plant has just recently came back on stream.

Mr Cassidy also said that the level of wind output has been far lower than usual this year too, leading many to talk of a “wind drought”.

“So we have skyrocketing fuel prices, increased demand as the economy recovers, at the same time as we’re having a supply crunch. It’s all created the “perfect storm” for price increases, he said.

But he added that price increases of this magnitude and frequency are unsustainable.

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