The principal objective of the Utility Regulator (UR) in relation to gas is “to promote the development and maintenance of an efficient, economic and co-ordinated gas industry in Northern Ireland” while having regard to “the need to ensure a high level of protection of consumers of gas”.

To help meet this objective we retain price controls on dominant, former monopoly, gas suppliers.  The two price-regulated gas supply companies are: 

  • SSE Airtricity Gas Supply (NI) Ltd (SSE Airtricity) in the Greater Belfast area
  • firmus energy (Supply) Ltd (firmus energy) in the Ten Towns area

We do not retain price controls on firmus energy in the Greater Belfast area.

The current SSE Airtricity price control lasts for a period of three years from April 2020 to March 2023. This control can be found on our website.

The current firmus energy price control runs from January 2020 to December 2022.  This control can be found on our website.

Both SSE Airtricity and firmus energy supply limited submit their proposed supply operating costs which are those costs which relate to the day to day operating of the supply business to the UR.  These costs are thoroughly scrutinised and the appropriate level of operating costs are approved by the UR.  The UR also sets the allowed margin for both SSE Airtricity and firmus energy Ten Towns i.e. the level of profit which they are allowed to make. The current scope and customer coverage means that the current price-regulated threshold is for customer using less than 2500 therms (73250kWh) per annum.  This is typically domestic properties and small businesses.