Annual Retail Energy Market Monitoring report for 2021 published

The Annual Retail Energy Market Monitoring (AREMM) Report for 2021 is the latest of a series of Utility Regulator reports that provide a range of information about the retail energy market in Northern Ireland.

The 2021 AREMM merges the relevant quarterly information for the calendar year from the Quarterly Retail Energy Market Monitoring reports (QREMM) and is therefore the summation of Quarter 1 through to Quarter 4 for 2021.

The AREMM report presents data that we collect as part of the Retail Energy Market Monitoring (REMM) framework. REMM requires network companies and suppliers to submit data on a range of indicators to enhance our transparency around market behaviours and regulatory compliance. We use the information outlined in the report to review the progress and impact of supply competition; build knowledge for regulatory decisions; comply with EU Third Package mandatory requirements on market monitoring; allow other interested stakeholders to understand more readily the activity within our energy markets; and to help promote the interests of consumers.

Highlights from the 2021 AREMM report include:

  • During 2021 international energy commodity prices were very volatile. This saw an upward movement in prices data especially during the latter half of the year with further volatility expected in the coming semesters. The semester 2 (July - December) 2021 electricity pricing data is sourced from Eurostat and individual supplier’s submissions under the REMM framework. The pricing data for the period illustrates the following:
    • NI domestic electricity prices (19.3 p/kWh) continued to rank below the EU median (20.1 p/kWh), UK (20.1 p/kWh) and were lower than the Republic of Ireland (25.3 p/kWh).
    • The NI I&C electricity price for the Very Small connections (which represent c71% of I&C connections) was 23.0 p/kWh, which was higher than the EU median (18.0 p/kWh), higher than the UK (18.5 p/kWh) and just above the Republic of Ireland (22.5 p/kWh).
    • For Large and Very Large I&C customers (c0.02% of connections) NI prices (16.1p/kWh) were higher than the EU median (10.2 p/kWh), RoI (13.4p/kWh) and the UK (15.0p/kWh).
    • The semester 2 (July - December) 2021 domestic gas prices in NI were among the lowest in Europe at 4.6 p/kWh. This was less than RoI (6.7 p/kWh) and EU median (6.7 p/kWh) and marginally higher than UK (4.5 p/kWh).
  • Market activity in the electricity domestic and I&C sectors during 2021 continues to show that Power NI (the incumbent price controlled electricity supplier) retain their dominant position at a similar level with 55.6% of connections in the domestic market in 2021 compared to 54.8% in 2020.
  • Domestic customers continue to engage in the market with over c110,000 domestic switches completed during 2021, an indication that 13.3% of the market is participating in switching (an increase from 9.3% in 2020). I&C switching activity decreased from c8,400 in 2020 to c6,800 in 2021.
  • In the gas sector, there was c2,200 switches during 2021. This equates to c1,300 domestic switches (domestic switching only applies to the Greater Belfast distribution network area) and c880 I&C switches. This is an increase from c850 and c820 switches during 2020 respectively.
  • During 2021, there were c24,300 electricity complaints made by domestic and I&C customers and c10,200 gas complaints made by customers to their suppliers. This is an increase from c8,900 electricity complaints and c2,900 gas complaints during 2020. The three most common supplier complaints made during 2021 related to: bills, payments and accounts, customer service and prepayment meter issues. The UR intends to update this report with more detail on the complaints data soon.

Copies of all documents can be made available in large print, Braille, audio cassette and a variety of relevant minority languages if required.