Ireland hopes the low cost of utility bills will help encourage investment in the country which is in political chaos following a multi billion Euro bailout.

Official data published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, shows in the year to June 2010 domestic gas prices fell by 23% taking costs to 5% below the European Union (EU) average.

During the same time electricity prices also fell by 12.2% levelling them with the EU average.

Irish energy minister, Eamon Ryan, claimed for medium to large businesses, Ireland was now amongst the cheapest in the EU with prices at 14% below the continent’s average.

He said: “Ireland now has some of the cheapest energy in the European Union.

“Government policy to develop open, competitive gas and electricity markets means that prices are now at, or well below the EU average, for all energy customers.

“Costs are also lower than those in the UK, this provides a crucial competitive advantage, as we seek to attract further investment and stimulate growth in the Irish economy.

“Companies are seeking to establish themselves in countries that have a low cost base and energy prices are therefore crucial.”

Luke Walsh

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