Thousands face a move to higher energy bills after the last supplier exits the Irish market

Thousands of families face the most expensive tariffs on electricity and gas as more suppliers flee the Irish market.

Anda Power, which has about 60,000 residential electricity and gas customers, is known to be on the verge of exiting the residential supply market.

You will become the latest casualty of the energy crisis – which has already seen three other suppliers pull the plug on this market.

When energy providers leave, their customers are turned into so-called “suppliers of last resort”.

This means that they are levied on the more expensive “standard tariffs”. These are up to 30 percent higher than the best rates that can be obtained from energy providers by securing a discounted annual contract.

Any customer whose supplier leaves the market are urged to transform into an existing player as soon as possible.

Dara Cassidy of price comparison site Bonkers.ie said Panda Power is poised to become the fourth supplier to exit the Irish market in a few months after Glowpower, Bright Energy and Iberdrola.

“It’s likely that more suppliers will fall back over the coming months,” Cassidy said.

After the recent price hike, the average customer ended up paying around 2,500 euros a year for electricity and 2,000 euros for gas.

A spokesperson for the energy regulator, the Utilities Regulatory Commission (CRU), said it was “working with an energy supplier regarding their market participation”.

The massive rise in wholesale energy costs since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put pressure on sellers like Panda Power, making it difficult for them to return.

Panda Power raised electricity and gas prices only in August. Electricity prices increased by 12.7% and gas by 25.8%.

This is Panda’s second price increase this year, as it also raised its prices in May.

Last year electricity prices increased five times, and gas prices four times.

After the recent price hike, the average customer ended up paying around 2,500 euros a year for electricity and 2,000 euros for gas.

The company, which is part of the Beauparc Utility Group, entered the power supply business here only in 2018.

Beauparc changed a deal worth about 1 billion euros last year.

Panda’s waste recycling business has forced a double price hike on homes this month. Panda Recycling, which has 360,000 residential customers, has increased fund raising fees by more than 12 percent and is raising fees for its services. The company blamed the high cost of diesel needed to fuel its trucks.

If Panda Power leaves the market here, its customers will not miss out on the show.

But the CRU will start a “supplier of last resort” procedure, which will see Panda’s remaining electricity customers move to Electric Ireland to ensure their supply is uninterrupted. Gas customers will be transferred to Bord Gáis Energy.

Cassidy said the news is pushing the populist narrative of an unexpected tax on all energy companies.

It proves once again that many energy companies are struggling, and that any unexpected tax must be carefully considered and targeted to ensure that it does not cause further carnage.

CRU said it could “confirm that it has been working with a supplier regarding their continued participation in the energy supply market”.

She added, “When a supplier seeks to exit the market, the CRU participates in the supplier of last resort process. Under this process, the CRU receives acknowledgments from the supplier that it wishes to stop supplying to customers and exit the energy supply market(s) and the CRU makes a decision as to whether Suppliers of last resort would have been involved.

“Through this process, the objective of the CRU is to agree on an appropriate schedule to protect the interests of customers in terms of their choice to switch supplier and to ensure continuity of supply through suppliers of last resort.

“Until these discussions are over, the CRU cannot provide any further details.”