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

The Quarterly Transparency Report (QTR) for Q3 2020 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 that we collect 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.

Quarterly Transparency Report for Q3 2020

  • The semester 1 (January to June) 2020 electricity pricing data is sourced from Eurostat and individual supplier’s submissions under the REMM framework. The current pricing data illustrates the following:
  • NI domestic electricity prices continue to rank below the EU median (18.5 p/kWh) and are lower than the Republic of Ireland (21.1 p/kWh) and the UK (19.3 p/kWh).
  • The NI I&C electricity price for the very amall connections (which represent c69% of I&C connections) is 15.9 p/kWh, which is lower than the Republic of Ireland (19.2 p/kWh), the UK (17.4 p/kWh) and the EU median (16.2 p/kWh).
  • For large I&C customers (c0.02% of connections) NI prices (8.7p/kWh) are just above RoI (7.8p/kWh) but lower than the UK (12.2 p/kWh).
  • Domestic gas prices in NI are amongst the lowest in Europe at 4.6 p/kWh. This is less than Republic of Ireland and EU median both of which are 5.8 p/kWh. NI prices are marginally higher than the rest of the UK at 4.2 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 55.2% of connections in the domestic market with continued growth of the competing suppliers.
  • Overall electricity switching activity in Q3 2020 has increased from the previous quarter. The domestic switching rate has increased from 1.3% to 2.2% in the current quarter. There were over 18,200 domestic switches completed during Q3 2020, with a notable increase in Budget Energy’s connections for this quarter (>2,900). I&C electricity switching decreased in the period to a switching rate of 0.9% (from 7.2% in the previous quarter), with over c680 switches completed.
  • In the gas sector, I&C switching activity increased in Greater Belfast with an increase in the I&C switching rate from 0.5% in Q2 2020 to 1.1% in Q3 2020. However, the I&C switching rate for Ten Towns decreased from a switching rate of 4.2% in Q2 2020 to 1.1% in Q3 2020.  

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.