The company, which first entered the electricity market in 2009, said wholesale electricity prices increasing 20% since it last cut prices had forced its hand.

Bord Gais had cut prices by a total of 15% in May and October 2009 and had kept them level since.

But rises in the wholesale price increases had meant the company has to push some of the additional cost back on to consumers by raising bills.

According to Bord Gais, the wholesale price of gas, a key commodity used in the production of electricity in Ireland, has increased by a huge 39% in the last twelve months alone – making it currently priced 30% higher this winter than last.

Bord Gáis Energy managing director of retail and trading, Jason Scagell, said: “We have done our utmost to limit the overall price increase to 12% despite much higher increases in international wholesale prices.

“We have been able to do this through a well-executed procurement strategy that hedged our exposure to wholesale increases and enabled us to maintain retail prices at the same level for the last 20 months.”

Mr Scagell also explained he expected the Commission for Energy Regulation will approve price increases for residential gas customers from October, following a consultation due ‘imminently’.

Luke Walsh

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