herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Families braced for rocketing power bills

WHOLESALE electricity prices increased here by 7pc last month, despite weak summer demand.

The Bord Gais energy index noted that rising UK gas prices and a drop in the volume of electricity produced by wind turbines here contributed to the rise.

The index is seasonally adjusted and designed to measure prices in the wholesale energy market around the world.

It recorded an increase in the cost of all four of the commodities it tracks – oil, gas, coal and electricity – from June to July.

 

DRAMATIC

The index combines price movements into one figure that provides an overall indication of the global performance of the energy sector. It stood at 141 in July, down 2pc on the same month last year.

The average price of Brent crude oil rose by 3pc last month.

The rise in oil prices was partly attributed to a "dramatic" reduction in US crude stocks, which led to the benchmark US oil price hitting a monthly high of $109.32 (€82.19) a barrel.

It was the highest level since the height of the tensions between the West and Iran in February 2012.

Strikes by workers in Libya, who are trying to secure better conditions in the post-Gaddafi era, were also blamed for the increase. The report said a strong euro helped to alleviate some of the price increases.

The average day ahead gas price for July rose by 6pc in July from June despite low demand levels.

Bord Gais said there was heightened sensitivity to UK gas supplies in July as planned and unplanned maintenance of fields and terminals created a general tightness in the market.

Coal experienced a small price rise with mine and port workers at the Colombian operation of US-based coal miner Drummond started an indefinite strike due to a row over wages and benefits.

hnews@herald.ie

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