Northern Ireland’s largest supplier of natural gas, Firmus Energy, has today, Tuesday 6th December announced that it will be reducing its tariffs for customers in the Ten Towns Network area by 20.52% and by 17.60 % in the Greater Belfast Network area, from 01 January 2023.
This will reduce the average cost by £8.831 per week in Ten Towns and by £7.922 in Greater Belfast. On an annual basis, this will save customers £460 and £410, on average, respectively.
In addition, from 1st January 2023, the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) Scheme will further reduce the price customers pay by 3.893 pence per kWh, providing up to a further 27.60% reduction to the new tariff.
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.
Announcing the price decreases, Niall Martindale, Chief Executive Officer of Firmus Energy said:
“Firmus Energy is pleased to be announcing this price reduction.
“Throughout this challenging period, we committed that as soon as market conditions allowed us to lower our prices we would do so, and today we are pleased to confirm that prices will be reduced from January 2023.
“The Government’s EPG scheme will provide further savings and we welcome the additional support it is providing to our customers at this time.”
Commenting on the announcement, Kevin Shiels, acting Chief Executive at the Utility Regulator said:
“Today’s announcement offers some welcome relief to gas consumers this winter, after a period when surging wholesale energy prices led to unprecedented increases in bills.
“As a regulator, we have always said that changes to consumer bills in Northern Ireland are not a one-way street. Our job is to make sure that consumer bills reflect the costs of providing the service, and we said we would act quickly should falling wholesale costs allow us to reduce bills. Recent and sustained falls in wholesale costs have allowed us to approve a fall in firmus energy’s tariffs.
“Firmus Energy’s announcement today will mean that the combined regulated electricity and gas bill in Ten Towns area will be £2,174 a year from 1 January 2023. This compares to the price cap in Great Britain, where the combined electricity and gas bill for the average household will be £2,867 a year from 1 January 2023.
“Separate to the energy price guarantee support, we continue to work with the UK Government and local energy suppliers to ensure that the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme and additional £200 payments are paid to Northern Ireland consumers quickly.
“At a local level, we will continue to use everything in our regulatory toolbox to support consumers. We recently agreed, along with the Consumer Council and energy suppliers, a series of practical commitments, called an energy charter, to protect consumers over the coming months.
“Consumers who are worried about the impact of energy prices should always contact their electricity or gas supplier in the first instance, to make them aware of their circumstances, and discuss the options available to them. In addition, there are also a number of agencies who can provide free and independent advice to households, including Advice NI, Christians Against Poverty and Money and Pensions Service’s MoneyHelper.”
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.
For free and independent advice on how to save energy please contact NI Energy Advice Line on 0800 111 4455.