Utility Regulator comments on Power NI’s tariff announcement
A 6.9% increase to regulated electricity tariffs has been announced by Power NI. This change in tariff applies to their domestic customers and will come into effect on 1 July 2021.
Commenting on the announcement, John French, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator said:
“Power NI provided a submission to the Utility Regulator in March to increase their regulated electricity tariff by 6.9%, which is equivalent to £39 per year. Following a thorough analysis of all their costs, we have accepted their submission. The main driver behind this tariff increase is a rise in wholesale electricity costs. This has largely been driven by increasing wholesale gas prices, which have more than doubled since March 2020, and low-wind weather patterns.
“We recognise that this is not the ideal time for a price increase, as many consumers are facing a tough time in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have not taken this decision to agree Power NI’s price increase lightly, but unfortunately it reflects their actual cost of supplying electricity to Northern Ireland homes.
“If you are struggling with your electricity or gas bill, I would encourage you to contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. Help is available. We expect all suppliers to provide the appropriate support and information to help their customers at this time.
“This 6.9% increase by Power NI on their standard domestic electricity tariff means their average annual bill will now be £610. This compares to average annual electricity bills in Great Britain of £736 and £846 in the Republic of Ireland.”
This announcement follows the ongoing tariff review process that is carried out by Power NI and the Utility Regulator, in consultation with the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
Further information on the support available to energy customers is available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/covid-19-energy-debt-advice and within the consumer protection section of the Utility Regulator’s website www.uregni.gov.uk. The Consumer Council’s website has energy advice for consumers during these difficult times and also provides an independent energy price comparison tool to help consumers save money.
A number of agencies can provide free and independent advice, including Advice NI, Money and Pensions Service and Christians Against Poverty. There is also more information on support for natural gas customers from the new www.naturalgasni.com website.
A briefing paper has also been published.
- Since 1 April 2017, we no longer regulate Power NI’s tariff for small business customers as this market is now fully open to competition.
- The bill comparison with GB and RoI is based on annual consumption of 3,200 kWh and based on the average of the standard tariffs of the main suppliers in GB and RoI.
- Following this increase, Power NI’s standard domestic electricity tariff will be 28% lower than RoI and 17% lower than GB.
- As Power NI’s profits are fixed (at around 2%), any over recovery (and under recovery) made due to a change in the forecast costs is passed on to consumers in the next tariff review. This is not the case for non-price regulated suppliers.
- The tariff has been modelled and forecast over a period of 24 months.
- The standard Home Energy tariff will increase to 18.16p per kWh (ex VAT) or 19.07 pence per kWh (inc VAT) from 1 July 2021.
- Media contact - Adele Boyle 07787 279584.