Authority Responds to Set-back for Electricity Prices

07 July 2004

The Chairman of the Northern Ireland Authority on Energy Regulation, Douglas McIldoon, expressed disappointment at the government’s failure to secure a £30 million fund to lower energy costs for business. The EU Competition authorities rejected the governments proposed measure as they judged it was in breach of the rules on state aid.

In a statement he said:

“The commitment of Government to removing some of the excess costs of privatisation was a major milestone on the road to securing justice for electricity consumers in Northern Ireland. While I share the general disappointment at the present set back in securing relief, the cause is just and the effort must continue. With the modernisation of Northern Ireland’s generators almost complete, the removal of the excess costs of privatisation is the only major remaining obstacle to the establishment of a competitive liberalised electricity market in Northern Ireland which will exercise a downward pressure on prices. Without Government intervention competition will push prices up and this critical point needs to be understood in Brussels.”