SSE Airtricity’s sharp price rise a stark reminder of grim energy vista

Firm’s figures suggest an average increase in electricity bills of about €600 a year and over €500 annually for gas

Another day, another set of eye-watering energy price increases. Here, SSE Airtricity is increasing the unit price of its electricity by 45.2 per cent and the unit price of its gas by 46.3 per cent from October 1st.

Its electricity and gas standing charges are also going up. The move will affect some 250,000 electricity customers and 85,000 gas customers, according to

In the UK, the typical UK household gas and electricity bill will rise to £3,549 (€4,214) a year from October from £1,971 at present, the sector’s regulator Ofgem confirmed yesterday.

SSE’s own figures suggest that the increase here will add almost €600 a year to the average customer’s electricity bill and more than €500 a year to their gas bill. noted that SSE last increased its prices in May when it increased the unit price of its gas by 39 per cent and its electricity by more than 30 per cent and it also increased its prices three times in 2021. “SSE customers will be paying over €1,000 more for their gas and €1,100 more for their electricity each year,” it added.


Bonkers indeed.

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SSE said the increase was due to the “continued volatility across global energy markets, and ongoing market uncertainty”. There was no mention of whether it would reduce its charges should wholesale prices start to fall in the coming months, unlikely as that might seem right now given the ongoing war in Ukraine and tensions with Russia on gas supplies.

Cynics might wonder about the timing, coming as it does in the same week that Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan told RTÉ Radio that the Government was considering imposing windfall charges on energy company profits. This is under consideration for next month’s budget along with potentially squeezing more dividends out of State-owned energy companies such as the ESB and Bord na Móna.

Imposing a windfall tax and pulling more dividends from State-owned companies should play well politically with voters. But it’s unclear how much it would yield or how the funds would be put to use. And it certainly won’t reduce our energy bills.