Utility Regulator welcomes decrease to energy bills

 

The Utility Regulator has concluded its review of the regulated tariffs for Power NI and SSE Airtricity Gas Supply. An announcement around Firmus Energy’s regulated gas tariff will be made next week. 

The review has determined that from 1 April 2024, Power NI’s domestic tariff will reduce by 6.3% or £64 per year, whilst SSE Airtricity Gas Supply’s tariff for domestic and small business customers in the Greater Belfast and West gas areas, will reduce by 22.8% or £320 per year. 

Colin Broomfield, Director of Markets, Utility Regulator, explains further: 

“In January 2024, the Utility Regulator commenced a review of Power NI’s regulated electricity tariff, and SSE Airtricity and Firmus Energy’s regulated gas tariffs. 

“Following our analysis, we have agreed that a 6.3% decrease in Power NI’s electricity tariff and a 22.8% reduction in SSE Airtricity’s regulated gas tariff will become effective from 1 April 2024. These reductions are primarily driven by the steady fall in wholesale energy prices. 

“These reductions will see a typical Power NI domestic customer paying £64 less a year. The annual bill for a typical domestic credit customer with SSE Airtricity Gas Supply will decrease by around £320 per year.” 

The table below shows the average annual bill comparison between the Power NI and SSE Airtricity Gas Supply with Great Britain and Ireland from 1 April 2024. 

 

Average annual bills from 1 April 2024

Power NI (electricity) and SSE Airtricity (gas) (Greater Belfast and West)

Great Britain

Ireland[i]

Electricity

£951

£1,066

£1,291

Gas

£1,079

£891

£1,359

Total

£2,030

£1,957

£2,650

[1]Exchange rate of 0.85 used.

Note: Figures above based on the annual bill of a domestic customer consuming 12,000 kWh of gas and 3,200 kWh of electricity on the standard tariff. 

Colin Broomfield continued: 

“While this is good news for consumers, we recognise that many households and businesses are still struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. If you are worried about paying their electricity or gas bill, help is available. We would encourage you to contact your supplier in the first instance, to make them aware of your circumstances, and discuss the options available. In addition, there are a number of agencies who can provide free and independent advice to households, including Advice NI, Christians Against Poverty, the Consumer Council and Money and Pensions Service’s MoneyHelper.

“We will continue to monitor the regulated suppliers’ tariff and will ensure any further falls in costs are passed through to customers at the earliest opportunity.” 

This tariff announcement marks the conclusion of a review undertaken by the Utility Regulator, Power NI and SSE Airtricity Gas Supply, in consultation with the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. 

Briefing papers for Power NI and SSE Airtricity Gas Supply have been published.

Further information:

  • Media contact: Adele Boyle, 07787 279584.

  • The bill comparison with GB is based on annual consumption of 12,000 kWh of gas and 3,200 kWh of electricity, on the standard credit tariff.

  • The bill comparison with RoI is based on annual consumption of 12,000 kWh of gas and 3,200 kWh of electricity, on the standard tariff. The exchange rate used for comparison is 0.85 and VAT rate is 9%.

  • Power NI: 

    • The Power NI tariff review commenced in January 2024 and covers around 508,000 domestic electricity customers. 

    • This reduction for Power NI follows a 7.1% decrease in July 2023. 

  • SSE Airtricity Gas Supply: 

    • The SSE Airtricity Gas Supply review commenced in January 2024 and covers around 204,000 customers in the Greater Belfast area and 3,800 customers in the Gas to the West area.

    • The reduction for SSE Airtricity Gas Supply follows a 12.2% decrease in July 2023

    • The Greater Belfast area includes: South, West, East and North Belfast; Carrickfergus; Newtownabbey; Duncrue and Harbour; Lisburn; Carryduff; Castlereagh; Ballygowan; Newtownards; Larne; and North Down. 

    • The Western area includes: Enniskillen, Cookstown, Magherafelt, Omagh, Dungannon and Strabane. 

  • The Consumer Council’s website has energy advice for consumers 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 www.naturalgasni.com website.