Consumer Council alert on natural gas and electricity price increases
From July 1, four price increases announced earlier in the year are coming into effect.
These are as follows:
• SSE Airtricity is increasing gas prices by 42.7 per cent in Greater Belfast;
• Firmus Energy is increasing gas prices by 24.5 per cent in Greater Belfast;
• Power NI is increasing electricity prices by 27.5 per cent across Northern Ireland; and
• Click Energy is increasing electricity prices by 11 per cent across Northern Ireland.
Peter McClenaghan, Director of Infrastructure and sustainability at the Consumer Council, said:
“These increases will impact more than half of Northern Ireland’s households.
“At the Consumer Council, we speak to consumers every day who are upset and worried about the winter ahead.
“We urge anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills or to top-up their meter to contact their supplier directly for help with payment plans for bill pay/direct debit and prepayment meters.
“We also encourage bill pay consumers to submit your meter reading using your suppliers’ online or automated service to avoid any estimated bills.
“Also, we would ask consumers to think about ways they can reduce their energy costs through energy efficiency and, if possible, try to save over the summer months to cover energy costs during winter 2022-23.
“The financial support announced by the Chancellor will help pensioners, people with disabilities, and those on qualifying benefits.
“We know people are desperate for that support, and we would ask those who will receive these funds, if you can, to plan for heating your home this winter when deciding how to use the money you receive in July.
“There is also an urgent need for clarity on if, how, and when the Chancellor’s £400 energy support package will be made available everyone in Northern Ireland.”
The Consumer Council’s website has information to help consumers be more energy-efficient at home, get the best from their electricity or gas supply, and save money at www.consumercouncil.org.uk/costofliving.
Consumers can also get in touch with the Consumer Council for free independent advice by calling Freephone 0800 121 6022, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.