Latest quarterly transparency report on NI’s retail energy market published.

28 November 2019

The Quarterly Transparency Report (QTR) for Q3 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 QTR presents data collected by us 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.

QTR Q3 2019

The key developments during Q3 are as follows:

  • 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 56.1% of connections in the domestic market with continued growth of the competing suppliers.
  • Electricity switching activity in Q3 2019 has increased from the previous quarter. Domestic customers continue to engage in the electricity market with over 25,690 switches completed during Q3 2019 which is a 3.2% quarterly switching rate. I&C electricity switching also increased to a switching rate of 1.6% (from 1.5% in the previous quarter), with over 1,170 switches completed. 
  • In the gas sector, I&C switching activity decreased in both the Greater Belfast and Ten Towns I&C market. The I&C switching rate was 1.0% in Greater Belfast and 0.9% in the Ten Towns (compared to 4.7% and 12.1% respectively in Q2 2019). 

The semester 1 (January to June) 2019 electricity pricing data is sourced from Eurostat and individual supplier’s submissions under the REMM framework.  The data illustrates the following:

  • NI domestic electricity prices continue to rank amongst the lowest in Europe at 16.9 p/kWh and are considerably lower than the Republic of Ireland (21.2 p/kWh), the EU median (18.5 p/kWh) and the rest of the UK (18.5 p/kWh).
  • The NI I&C electricity price for the very small connections (which represent c68% of I&C connections) is 16.6 p/kWh, which is lower than the Republic of Ireland (17.9 p/kWh), but higher than the UK (16.2 p/kWh) and the EU median (16.2 p/kWh).
  • For medium and large I&C customers, NI prices are higher than Republic of Ireland but are lower than in the UK overall.
  • Domestic gas prices in NI are amongst the lowest in Europe at 4.81 p/kWh. This is less than RoI at 5.97 p/kWh, the EU median at 6.20 p/kWh. NI prices are higher than the rest of the UK at 4.31 p/kWh.

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
john.magill@uregni.gov.uk  
Direct Tel: +44 (0) 28 9031 6332

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