Energy provider PrepayPower has announced an increase in gas and electricity prices for consumers.

Electricity bills will rise by 19% and gas bills by 29% from next month.

This increase will add €339 to the average electricity bill and €428 to the gas bill.

Irish customers face many higher energy prices (Gareth Fuller/PA)

It’s the latest in a series of energy price hikes for customers, after the company raised electricity prices in July.

PrepayPower sells electricity and gas to retail customers on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The company has 170,000 electricity customers and 60,000 gas customers in Ireland.

Ireland’s wholesale power and gas prices have risen 10 times above historic levels in the past 18 months, according to the company.

The company said it is deploying hedging reserves to absorb as much of the cost increase as possible to protect customers from much of the wholesale cost inflation.

Environment minister Eamon Ryan warns high utility bills are inevitable this winter (Brian Lawless/PA)

A spokesperson said:

“These increases would have been significantly higher had it not been for our large hedging operations.

“We continue to work hard to protect our customers from the impact of these international developments as much as possible.”

The price increase announcement comes hours after Environment Minister Eamon Ryan warned that high utility bills were inevitable for households this winter.

Ryan told RTÉ that it would do everything to avoid a blackout, but said there were no absolute guarantees.

“I can’t say for sure. We got through last winter, even though the equipment was broken,” he said.

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