Gas and electric prices: Energy bill cuts come into effect for NI customers

Gas and electric prices: Energy bill cuts come into effect for NI customers
Gas and electric prices: Energy bill cuts come into effect for NI customers
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  • By Clodagh Rice
  • BBC News NI business correspondent
April 1, 2024, 06:28 BST

Updated 4 hours ago

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Energy bills take a step in the right direction but prices remain well above pre-pandemic levels

Energy bills are taking a step in the right direction but prices remain well above pre-pandemic levels.

Wholesale natural gas prices have fallen sharply since they peaked after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

This reduction in costs is now starting to feed through to consumer prices.

However, many households and businesses in Northern Ireland will still be struggling with cost pressures.

Electricity prices

Image caption,

Northern Ireland’s largest electricity supplier Power NI is cutting its prices by 6.3%

From April 1, Northern Ireland’s largest electricity supplier Power NI is cutting its prices by 6.3%.

The company says this will save the average household £63 per year.

It serves 500,000 household customers and cut its prices three times during 2023.

The move affected about 141,000 homes with the company saying it will save the typical household about £74 a year.

The company, which has about 80,000 customers across Northern Ireland, cited the reduction in wholesale energy costs.

It added that this would mean a saving of around £110 a year for household customers.

Gas tariff changes

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

SSE Airtricity says cuts will save a typical household customer £320.47 per year

The company says it will save a typical household customer £320.47 per year.

This move means household customers will save on average around £220.82 per year.

It is the fourth price cut for households in the Ten Towns Network area and the third reduction in Greater Belfast since December 2022.

The Ten Towns area includes Antrim, Armagh, Banbridge, Ballymena, Coleraine, Craigavon, Newry, Londonderry and many other towns.

‘Good news, not great’

Peter McClenaghan from the Northern Ireland Consumer Council said the price cuts were “good news for consumers” but warned “we’re still in a relatively high cost environment”.

He said energy prices in Northern Ireland remain “significantly higher” than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I don’t think we’ll be there for a while…. [it’s] not great for consumers who are still feeling the pinch.”

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Consumers are reminded to continue comparing energy suppliers’ prices

Mr McClenaghan added it was “really important that people don’t take their eye off the ball” by continuing to compare energy suppliers.

“Consumers should consider switching,” he said. “You can save hundreds of pounds.”

How do prices compare with GB and Ireland?

The Utility Regulator said these latest price cuts will mean a typical annual electricity bill at Power NI is £951, which is cheaper than both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

A typical annual gas bill of £1,079 for SSE Airtricity and £1,151 for Firmus energy is more expensive than the average bill in Great Britain (£891), but less expensive than the Republic of Ireland (£1,359).

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Gas electric prices Energy bill cuts effect customers

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