Firmus Energy announces 16.31% price hike
Firmus Energy has today announced the cost of gas for it’s domestic consumers in the Ten Towns area is rising for the second time this year.
The Ten Towns Network area includes Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Craigavon (including Lurgan and Portadown), Limavady, Derry/Londonderry, Newry, and more than 25 other towns and villages in the surrounding areas.
Following a 34% increase in February, the supplier is hiking its regulated tariff by 16.31% from 3rd May.
On April 1 2020, the average Firmus gas customer on the Ten Towns network was paying a tariff equivalent to £503 per year. The new estimate from May 3 is £1k more (£1,504).
Niall Martindale, Interim Managing Director of firmus energy, said:
“Energy markets remain at very high levels having been adversely affected by the war in Ukraine. This has been reflected across the board with increases in the costs of Home Heating Oil, coal, electricity, and gas. Regrettably the sheer scale of the increased costs involved give us no alternative but to pass on to our customers the higher costs we are having to pay for the gas we supply.
“Firmus energy is committed to reducing its tariff for all customers as soon as the market crisis subsides and enables us to do so.”
Outlining what firmus energy is doing to help its customers, Niall Martindale continued:
“We understand it is a tough time for many of our customers and we have been providing financial and administrative support to the Department for Communities scheme to help those most in need. If any of our customers need further support, I would urge them to call our dedicated local teamto see if we can help.”
Customers seeking advice on their natural gas bills or direct debit payments should contact the firmus energy Customer Services team on 0330 024 9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For free and independent advice on how to save energy please contact NI Energy Advice Line on 0800 111 4455.
Firmus will be announcing a tariff change for the Greater Belfast Network area in the coming days.
Commenting on the announcement Utility Regulator Chief Executive John French said:
“Wholesale energy prices rose rapidly in the second half of 2021, as global supplies did not keep pace with demand and as economies began to recover from Covid-19.
“Unfortunately, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made this picture even starker. Although we are not directly reliant on Russian gas, it sets the price we pay.
“Following the Russian invasion on 24 February, Firmus Energy, in early March, provided the Utility Regulator with a submission to increase their regulated tariff.
“We have now finalised our analysis of this submission, following consultation with both the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. We have concluded that a 16.31% increase is now needed to reflect the harsh underlying market conditions.
“I completely recognise that this energy crisis is putting the most vulnerable in our society under considerable strain. I would therefore encourage anyone who is struggling with their bills to get in touch with their energy company as soon as they can. The regulatory process ensures that energy companies have clear obligations on how they act and how they provide support to consumers.
“We will continue to work with Government, industry and support agencies to do whatever we can to support consumers through this crisis, in one of the most challenging markets we have seen in our history.”
Further information on the support available to energy customers is available from NI Direct. Advice on saving energy in the home and information on energy efficiency grants is available from the NI Energy Advice service.
This tariff review commenced in early March 2022 and covers around 59,000 customers in the Ten Towns area.
The average domestic credit customer will see their bills increase by around £211 per year and the average domestic bill will rise to £1504 per year.
The firmus energy standard tariff will be 43.5% above the GB default gas tariff cap level. Both have VAT rates of 5%.
The firmus energy standard tariff will be 21.1% higher than the Bord Gais standard gas tariff in the RoI. This includes VAT at 13.5% in RoI and 5% in NI. Exchange rate of 0.84 used in calculation.
The Ten Towns and Greater Belfast areas are two separate markets, with different distribution network operators and different network use of system costs.
The Ten Towns area refers to firmus energy’s distribution network and includes: Derry/Londonderry, Limavady, Coleraine (including Portstewart and Bushmills), Ballymoney, Ballymena (Broughshane), Antrim (including Ballyclare and Templepatrick), Craigavon (including Portadown and Lurgan), Banbridge, Newry (Warrenpoint), Armagh (Tandragee) and more than 25 other towns and villages in the surrounding area.