Following the announcement by SSE Airtricity Gas Supply that it will be increasing its gas prices by 10.9% for domestic and small business customers¹ in the Greater Belfast area, Jenny Pyper, the Utility Regulator’s Chief Executive said:
"We carried out extensive scrutiny before approving this tariff change as we understand that increases in energy prices are never welcome and add to pressures on households and businesses. We act on behalf of customers to regulate the prices that SSE Airtricity Gas Supply can charge in the Greater Belfast area and have carefully reviewed each element of this new tariff to ensure it is justified.
"The main reason for this increase is due to the significant rise in global gas costs since the tariff was last set earlier this year in April. A small rise in the cost of transmission charges has also contributed to the tariff increase.
"The average domestic customer² will see their bills increase by around £1.08 per week. Following this increase, SSE Airtricity Gas Supply’s tariff for an average domestic credit customer will be around 22.8% lower than the Bord Gais standard tariff in the Republic of Ireland and 9.1% cheaper than the GB average standard tariff.
"Whilst this increase brings prices back to slightly lower than where they were in 2013, we do recognise the impact that it will have on households and small businesses. We constantly keep tariffs under review and should wholesale energy or other costs decrease, our system of regulation in Northern Ireland allows us to act as soon as possible to ensure that this reduction is reflected in consumer bills."
The tariff increase will come into effect from 1 October 2018. Today’s announcement follows the ongoing tariff review process that is carried out by SSE Airtricity Gas Supply and the Utility Regulator, in consultation with the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
For further information, please contact Barbara Stevenson on 028 9031 6343 or 07794 965 922.
Notes to editor
- The Utility Regulator is the independent non-ministerial government department responsible for regulating the electricity and gas industries and water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland.
- This tariff review commenced in August 2018 and covers around 152,000 customers. The review also covers customers in the Gas to the West area where a small number of customers are already connected.
- The average domestic customer will see their bills increase by around £56 per year (£1.08 per week) and the average bill will now be around £576 per year.
- The SSE Airtricity Gas Supply standard tariff is 9.1% lower than the average of the standard gas tariffs of the big six suppliers in GB. Both have VAT rates of 5%.
- This SSE Airtricity Gas Supply standard tariff is 22.8% lower than the Bord Gais standard gas tariff in the RoI. This includes VAT at 13.5% in RoI and VAT at 5% in NI.
- The Greater Belfast area covers: South, West, East and North Belfast; Carrickfergus; Newtownabbey; Duncrue and Harbour; Lisburn; Carryduff; Castlereagh; Ballygowan; Newtownards; Larne; and North Down.
- The SSE Airtricity gas supply (NI) briefing paper is also available.
 Business customers using less than 73,200 kWh per year.
 A domestic customer on a standard credit tariff with an average consumption of 12,000 kWh p.a. including VAT.