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Utility Regulator comments on review of regulated domestic electricity and gas tariffs

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Following a review of regulated energy tariffs in Northern Ireland, Power NI will reduce its domestic electricity tariff by 7.1%, while SSE Airtricity Gas Supply’s tariff for domestic and small business customers is reducing by 12.2%. These decreases will become effective from 1 July 2023.

 

For the average household, the regulated tariff, before the impact of the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), will change from:


  • Power NI: £1,092 (current), to £1,015 (from 1 July 2023)

  • SSE Airtricity Gas Supply: £1,594 (current) to £1,400 (from 1 July 2023)

  • Firmus Energy: £1,475 (no change to the regulated tariff from 1 July 2023)

 


These regulated tariff decreases are however being offset by the reduction in EPG which will drop from approximately £454 per year in discount for the average household, to £0 from 1 July 2023.


The result of this change will mean that domestic energy bills in Northern Ireland will therefore increase (5.1% for Power NI and 10.6% for SSE gas customers), as the underlying reduction in energy prices is not as great as the support previously received by the UK Government.

 

Commenting on the tariff reviews, John French, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator said:

 

“In April 2023, the Utility Regulator commenced a review process of the regulated gas and electricity tariffs in Northern Ireland. These tariff reviews form part of our regular scrutiny to make sure that consumer bills reflect the actual cost of providing gas and electricity to homes across Northern Ireland. Following our analysis of both company’s costs, we agree that Power NI’s electricity tariff will decrease by 7.1%, and SSE Airtricity Gas Supply’s tariff will reduce by 12.2%.

 


“The reduction to the underlying regulated tariff is a direct result of the recent falls in forward wholesale energy prices, after the huge increases that were seen following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Unfortunately though, these tariff decreases coincides with the removal of the financial support provided through the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) scheme.

 

“The EPG scheme was brought in by the UK Government in November 2022 to help Northern Ireland households with high energy. As the cost of wholesale energy has been steadily reducing, the UK Government have decided to reduce the value of the support scheme to zero from 1 July 2023.

 

“Although the underlying wholesale price of energy has significantly reduced over the last few months, it still remains twice the price of historic norms. For example, the forward gas price is currently around £1.20 per therm, whereas before the Russian invasion, it was around 50 to 60 pence per therm.”

 


Prior to this review (pre-July 2023), combined electricity and gas prices were as follows:


NI Electricity and gas prices

After this review, combined electricity and gas prices from 1 July 2023, will be:


NI Electricity and gas prices

Historic movements in consumer prices from July 2020 to July 2023 are as follows:


NI Electricity and gas prices

John French concluded:

 

“We will continue to actively monitor the regulated gas and electricity tariffs to ensure any further falls in costs are passed through to customers at the earliest opportunity.

 

“If anyone is worried about paying your energy bill, we would ask that they contact your electricity or gas supplier in the first instance, to make them aware of your circumstances, and discuss the options available. In addition, there are several agencies who can provide free and independent advice to households, including Advice NI, Christians Against Poverty, the Consumer Council and Money and Pensions Service’s MoneyHelper.”

 


This announcement marks the conclusion of the regulated tariff reviews undertaken by the Utility Regulator and the companies, in consultation with the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.


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