Northern Ireland's electricity prices 'still among lowest in Europe' says utility report

Domestic and industrial electricity prices in Northern Ireland are among the most competitive in Europe according to the Utility Regulator
Gary McDonald Business Editor

ELECTRICITY prices in Northern Ireland for both domestic and industrial customers rank among the lowest in Europe, a report from the Utility Regulator has revealed.

The market barometer, covering the July to September quarter, shows that domestic customers in the north paid an average 14.6 pence per kilowatt hour for their supply - considerably lower than the Republic of Ireland (20.8p), the EU (17.3p) and the UK as a whole (16.2p).

Commercial customers locally paid 14.3p, compared to 15.8p in the EU, 17.8p in the Republic and 14.9p in the UK.

And domestic gas prices in Northern Ireland are also among the most competitive in Europe at 4.04p per kilowatt hour, which is less than the Republic (5.56p) and the rest of the UK (4.06p).

Electricity consumption across the whole of Northern Ireland during the period was 1,838.5 gigawatt hours - a significant jump on the 1,778.2 GWh consumed in the corresponding quarter in 2017.

The report says that activity in the electricity domestic and industrial/commercial sectors continues to illustrate a gradual change in the market dynamics.

The incumbent price controlled electricity supplier Power NI (the old NIE) retained its dominant position with 57.2 per cent of connections in the domestic market.

But the continued growth of a number of competing suppliers continues to gnaw away at its share, with SSE Airtricity now commanding a 22 per cent slice of the domestic cake and more than 18 per cent in the industrial sector.

According to the report, there are now nine suppliers in the electricity market and six in the gas market, although not all are certified to operate in all

sectors or distribution areas.

Electricity switching activity in the third quarter decreased from the previous three-month period (24,000 domestic customers and more than 1,600 industrial customers moved to other suppliers over the period).

Share of the domestic electricity market in Northern Ireland by customer:

:: Power NI - 461,048 (57.2 per cent)

:: SSE Airtricity - 177,109 (22 per cent)

:: Electric Ireland 82,548 (10.2 per cent)

:: Budget Energy 58,815 (7.3 per cent)

:: Click Energy 26,391 (3.3 per cent)

Share of the industrial and commercial electricity market

:: Power NI -35,086 (48 per cent)

:: SSE Airtricity - 13,446 (18.4 per cent)

:: Go Power - 10,507 (14.4 per cent)

:: Energia - 7,396 (10.1 per cent)

:: Electric Ireland - 5,183 (7.1 per cent)

:: Budget Energy - 896 (1.2 per cent)

:: 3T Power - 356 (0.49 per cent)

:: Click Energy - 186 (0.25 per cent)

:: Vayu - 49 (0.07 per cent)

Share of the north's gas market (domestic and industrial combined):

:: SSE Airtricity - 156,325 (75.4 per cent)

:: firmus energy 49,158 (23.7 per cent)

:: Flogas - 1,318 (0.6 per cent)

:: Go Power 617 (0.3 per cent)

:: Vayu 8 (0.01 per cent)

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