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

The Quarterly Transparency Report (QTR) for Q4 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 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 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 Q4 2020

  • 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 54.9% of connections in the domestic market with continued growth of the competing suppliers (representing 45.1% of domestic connections, an increase from 44.8% for the same period last year).
  • Overall electricity switching activity in Q4 2020 has continued to increase and the domestic switching rate has increased from 2.2% to 3.3% in the current quarter. There were over 26,900 domestic switches completed during Q4 2020, with a notable increase in Budget Energy’s connections for this quarter (>3,000). I&C electricity switching also increased in the period with a switching rate of 1.6% (from 0.9% in the previous quarter), with over 1,100 switches completed. 
  • In the gas sector, I&C switching activity decreased in Greater Belfast with a decrease in the I&C switching rate from 1.1% in Q3 2020 to 0.6% in Q4 2020. The I&C switching rate for Ten Towns also saw a decrease from 1.1% in Q3 2020 to 0.4% in Q4 2020. 
  • The pricing data will be updated next quarter. We’ve seen historically low energy prices in recent years, but increases in wholesale gas costs are going to impact customer bills. We are monitoring this in relation to supplier tariffs.  

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.