The decrease will take effect from February 1, 2007 and will mean a reduction of E120 per annum for the typical residential customer.

Commenting on the development, David Bunworth, head of Bord Gais Energy Supply, said that the move was a response to the recent fall in wholesale gas prices following the price increase implemented in October.

Mr Bunworth said: We are pleased to announce a reduction in gas prices for our customers today. As we now expect to avail of lower wholesale gas costs during 2007, and given the extent of the October price increase, we have decided to reduce the price of gas to our customers from February 1 next rather than later in 2007.

Natural gas prices in Ireland are already below the EU average and, with this decrease, will drop to 15% below the average, Bord Gais stated.