Gas Regulator welcomes Phoenix's new pricing structure

Gas Regulator, Douglas McIldoon, today welcomed the announcement by Phoenix Natural Gas that price increases for domestic customers will be held below the rate of inflation.

“The commitment by Phoenix to stable real gas prices over the next 3 years is good news. Against the backdrop of volatile oil prices, this new pricing structure will increase the attractiveness of natural gas. Also it serves to protect the Northern Ireland gas consumer from the rising wholesale gas prices which are currently being experienced in Great Britain.”

Mr McIldoon was also pleased with the removal of standing charges and the introduction of the low user tariff. “With energy use tending to increase with income, standing charges most hurt pensioners and low income households. The initiation of the low user tariff is also very much appreciated as it should encourage more efficient energy consumption”.

“With NIE’s earlier abolition of the standing charge, Northern Ireland has become the first region in the UK to end standing charges for domestic electricity and gas customers.”

Notes for Editors

The price of gas to domestic customers has remained at the same level since 10 March 1997. The new structure means that prices will be lower in real terms in 2003 that they were in 1997.

NIE abolished standing charges for all domestic customers other than their Economy 7 customers in April 2000.

For further information or to arrange an interview with Douglas McIldoon, please contact Nick Carson on 02891 275965 or 07711 482807