Latest annual transparency report on NI’s retail energy market published

The Annual Transparency Report (ATR) for 2019 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 2019 ATR merges the relevant quarterly information for the calendar year from the Quarterly Transparency Reports (QTRs) and is therefore the summation of Quarter 1 through to Quarter 4 for 2019.

The ATR presents data that we have collected 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.

ATR 2019

Included in this ATR report, for the first time, is information on electricity and gas supplier complaints. We believe this information can better inform consumers on the performance of their energy supplier. Some of the key developments during 2019 are outlined below:

  • Market activity in the electricity domestic and I&C sectors continues to illustrate a gradual change in the market dynamics. Power NI (the incumbent price controlled electricity supplier) retain their dominant position with 56.2% of connections in the domestic market with continued growth of the competing suppliers.
  • Domestic customers continue to actively engage in the electricity market with over 116,400 switches completed during 2019, indicating 13.1% of the market participating. This is an increase from 12.6% in 2018. However the I&C sector saw switching activity remain at a similar level to 2018, with c7,200 switches completed (9.7%) in 2019.
  • In the gas sector, there was an increase in switching activity in the Greater Belfast area during 2019 with over 1,711 switches compared to 1,144 in 2018. I&C switching in the Ten Towns also saw an increase during 2019 with 399 switches compared to 254 in 2018.
  • During 2019, there were over 5,400 electricity complaints made by domestic and I&C customers and over 1,500 gas supplier complaints.  The three most common supplier complaints made during 2019 related to: bills, payments and accounts, customer service and prepayment meter issues.

Any comments or queries in relation to this paper should be made to:

John Magill, Utility Regulator, Queens House, 14 Queen Street, Belfast BT1 6ED  

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