Electric Ireland announce 23.9% price hike for Northern Ireland customers

Electric Ireland announce 23.9% price hike for Northern Ireland customers

Electric Ireland has announced a price rise for customers in Northern Ireland. (PA)

Electric Ireland has announced a 23.9% price hike in Northern Ireland.

The increase will apply from January 1 2023, adding an estimated £290 (€337) to the typical household annual bill.

It was announced on Friday as Power NI said it has no plans to increase electricity prices for domestic customers in Northern Ireland this winter.

This increase is necessary and we have tried to keep prices as low as possible

It is set to decease its tariff by 14.2% from January 1 following a review process with the Utility Regulator.

However, the Consumer Council said with the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee support scheme (EPG) to offer lower level of discount from January 1 2023, consumers will not see a difference in their bills.

Bill Coyle from Electric Ireland said while the firm knows the news is disappointing, it has written to customers and advised them this increase “is necessary and assured them we have tried to keep prices as low as possible”.

Electric Ireland has around 90,000 residential customers in Northern Ireland.

Raymond Gormley from the Consumer Council described the increase announced by Electric Ireland as “really disappointing news, particularly given other energy suppliers have recently announced tariff decreases”.

“We know that so many consumers in Northern Ireland are really worried about their bills and we urge anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills or top-up their meters to contact their supplier directly for help and support,” he said.

“We would encourage all consumers to think about ways they can reduce their energy costs. Switching payment option, changing billing method or switching supplier can save some money.”

William Steele, director of Power NI Customer Solutions, welcomed the continued support that the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) scheme was providing.

“The support scheme has been updated with a Northern Ireland specific discount for the period between January 1 2023 and March 31 2023, which will ensure that our customers will see no changes in their billed tariff this winter,” he said.

“We value all our customers and remain committed to helping those who continue to be impacted by the cumulative rise in the cost of living. I would ask, for any customers who are worried about paying a bill, please get in contact and we will help you.”

As the electricity bill for Power NI’s domestic customers will not change, it does mean that these customers won’t pay more for their electricity this winter, despite the reduction in the energy price guarantee discount

Kevin Shiels, acting chief executive at the Utility Regulator, said scrutiny of Power NI’s tariffs “identified a need to decrease their tariffs because of falling wholesale electricity costs”.

“However, a recent change by the UK Government to its energy price guarantee scheme means that a lower level of discount will be applied to all electricity bills in Northern Ireland from January 1 2023,” he said.

“The lower level of discount cancels out the decrease identified by our tariff review.

“However, as the electricity bill for Power NI’s domestic customers will not change, it does mean that these customers won’t pay more for their electricity this winter, despite the reduction in the energy price guarantee discount.

“From January 1 2023, when the new tariff takes effect, Power NI’s average domestic credit customer (with the energy price guarantee discount applied) will pay £847 (€982) a year, compared to the GB Electricity Price Cap of £1,395 (€1617) per year.

“This means that the typical Power NI customer’s bill will be 39% lower than the equivalent in Great Britain.”

Consumers can get in touch with the Consumer Council for free independent advice by calling Freephone 0800 121 6022 or by emailing contact@consumercouncil.org.uk.

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