Latest Quarterly Transparency Report on NI’s retail energy market published

The Quarterly Transparency Report (QTR) for Q1 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 QTR presents data collected by the UR 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 UR 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.

Quarterly Transparency Report for Q1 2021

  • The semester 2 (July to December) 2020 electricity pricing data is sourced from Eurostat, BEIS and individual supplier’s submissions under the REMM framework. The current pricing data illustrates the following:
    • For Large and Very Large I&C customers (c0.02% of connections) NI prices (9.0p/kWh) are just above Republic of Ireland (8.3p/kWh) but below the UK (12.2 p/kWh).
    • The NI I&C electricity price for the Very Small connections (which represent c72% of I&C connections) is 15.6 p/kWh, which is lower than the EU median (16.4 p/kWh), UK (17.1 p/kWh) and Republic of Ireland (21.4 p/kWh).
    • NI domestic electricity prices (17.8 p/kWh) continue to rank below the EU median (19.5 p/kWh), UK (19.9 p/kWh) and are lower than the Republic of Ireland (23.7 p/kWh).
    • The domestic gas prices in NI are amongst the lowest in Europe at 4.1 p/kWh. This is less than, UK (4.3 p/kWh), Republic of Ireland (6.3 p/kWh) and EU median (6.8 p/kWh).
  • 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 55.0% of connections in the domestic market with continued growth of the competing suppliers (representing 45.0% of domestic connections, an increase from 44.5% for the same period last year).
  • Overall electricity switching activity in Q1 2021 decreased from the previous quarter. Domestic customers continue to engage in the market with over 14,500 domestic switches completed during Q1 2021. In the I&C sector, electricity switching also saw a decrease during the period with a switching rate of 1.0% (down from 1.6% in the previous quarter), with over 770 switches completed. 
  • In the gas sector, I&C switching activity increased in Greater Belfast with an increase in the I&C switching rate from 0.6% in Q4 2020 to 3.4% in Q1 2021. The I&C switching rate for Ten Towns remained static with a switching rate of 0.4%. 

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  
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.