NIAER publishes inaugural Annual Report

24 November 2004

• NIAER Chairman fulfils his commitment to report on the cost or benefit to customers from changing the Ballylumford contract.
• Authority continues to promote non confrontational regulatory solutions.
• Authority continues to nurture the development of an economic, co-ordinated gas industry throughout Northern Ireland

The publication of NIAER’s first Annual Report 2003-2004 today (Wednesday), saw Chairman, Douglas McIldoon, (former Director General of Electricity and Gas) delivering the first installment of his commitment to inform customers annually of the cost or benefit of the re-negotiated Ballylumford contract.

Mr McIldoon explained that the first year of the new power plant saw savings to customers of some £16.9 million compared to the cost of the old station and added that the price rise of 2.8% for electricity customers in 2003-2004 was necessary and had to be viewed against the global background of rising energy costs.

Mr Mc Ildoon added that the Authority will continue to look, wherever possible, for innovative industry-led solutions which avoid the need for regulatory action and will continue to co-operate with its neighbours in the Republic of Ireland to develop an all island energy industry.

Mr McIldoon was happy to report the commencement of the construction of the gas pipeline bringing gas to most of Northern Ireland’s district towns.

Notes for Editors

1.In the Annual Report, the Chairman reported that while the year saw the relentless rise of energy costs consumers faced further price threats in 2005
• The cost of the systems needed to facilitate further market opening
• The threat of a renewables obligation,
• The global background of rising energy costs; and
• The decision not to allow £30m per annum to be taken out of the excess costs of privatisation
2. On a more positive note the gas pipeline to the north west has now been completed and the owners of the Scotland to Northern Ireland pipeline have agreed to sell their shares to a not-for-distributed–profit company similar to the company which now owns Moyle
3. Copies of the Annual Report 2003-2004 can be viewed on this website or paper copies can be obtained from the Stationery Office or from Ofreg office by telephoning 028 9031 1575.
4. NIAER’s Resource Accounts referred to in the report will be published as soon as possible
5. Ofreg (the Office for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas) supports the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation (NIAER) the Regulator of the Electricity and Gas industries in Northern Ireland. NAER’s powers are derived from the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992, the Gas (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 both as amended by the Energy (Northern Ireland) Order 2003.
For further press information contact:
Terry McErlane: 028 9076 1007 or 07770 886911