Hard-pressed Dublin households finally can look forward to a round of reductions on their inflated annual €2,000 electricity and gas bills, it emerged this week.
Following hot on the heels of two smaller suppliers cutting their rate in recent weeks,, it is understood that several key players including Electric Ireland, Bord Gáis, Energia, and SSE Airtricity, are to announce similar reductions in their rates over the coming weeks.
Pinergy’s recent disclosure of price cutting will amount to a saving of over €200 a year for bill payers while the previous announcement from Yono Energy came with a claim that €500 could be saved annually..
Pinergy has put it up to its competitors by reducing its standard unit electricity to below those offered by ESB-owned Electric Ireland, the largest residential electricity supplier in the market.
The company’s latest cut of 9.5pc in the unit rate is estimated to save an average consumer around €220 per annum when it comes into effect next month.
Pinergy supplies householders electricity on a pay-as-you-go basis, already announced a reduction six months ago of just over 7 per cent which comes in at just under €30 as a saving on each bi-monthly bill.
And last week another player in the electricity and gas market, Energia, gave users a shot in the arm with their announcement of up to 20 per cent cuts for residential customers from October 3.
Such falls in costs are welcome despite the fact that householders have seen energy prices double since 2021. This translates to average homes forking out up to €2,000 per annum in lighting, heating and cooking charges.
Another positive move in a downward spiral is the arrival of Yuno Energy into the marketplace offering rates that could save consumers more than €10 a week on bills simply by watching closely what they use in their homes.
News that the big players in the marketplace will also initiate a round of cuts is to be welcomed but is tempered by the anticipation that their reductions will be comparatively modest in the order of 10-20 per cent.
ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan stated: “It is great to see some energy providers breaking ranks and reducing their costs in time for winter, any further reductions from other providers to the cost of energy and heating for older people is to be welcomed.
“In our pre-budget submission, One Million over 60, we asked for the government to raise the Fuel Allowance by €35 to provide cost-of-living support. We also asked that it deliver the actions committed to in the Action Plan to Combat Energy Poverty including the €10m fund to support people experiencing energy poverty.
“One in five older people are living in poverty and are particularly vulnerable to rising heating and energy costs; so many rely on fixed incomes that are not keeping pace with inflation.
“Benchmarking the State Pension to the average industrial wage would provide a greater amount of financial security for older people now and into the future. We also know from our own Annual Budget survey that heating and energy bills costs are the greatest source of anxiety for older people that ALONE works with – 55 per cent of respondents find it difficult to pay their bills.
“Last winter for the first time ever, ALONE partnered with the Dept of Energy, Climate and Communications in the cross-Government ‘Reduce Your Use’ public information campaign, which helped to ensure that older people were availing of all of the supports available to them. ALONE worked with major energy providers to secure relief for older people in need during the cost-of-living crisis which caused profound and widespread hardship.”
“The additional fuel supplement would be helpful but it is really just a temporary solution. In our budget submission we proposed an increase in the Fuel Allowance by €680.40 to restore its purchasing power and to extend the allowance to recipients of the Working Family Payment (WFP).”
A spokesperson for the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) told the Dublin Gazette this week: “Any reductions in energy costs are very welcome but many people are still struggling. Particularly those who have built up arrears as we enter the winter period and face another round of heavy bills.
“We advise anyone in arrears to engage with their supplier, many of whom have hardship funds in place to help in such situations,” he stressed.
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