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Firmus Energy confirms 17.75 per cent hike for Ten Towns gas customers from April 1

 Firmus has around 51,000 customers across the Ten Towns network.
Ryan McAleer

FIRMUS Energy has announced that its natural gas customers outside Belfast will see a 17.75 per cent hike in their tariffs from April 1.

The Consumer Council has said the typical customer in the Ten Towns network with a credit meter will see their bill rise by £78 to around £518 per year. Customers with a prepayment gas meter will see an increase by £74 to around £493 per year.

Firmus said the hike follows an increase in wholesale gas prices and follows three price reductions totalling around 37 per cent over the last 18 months, that led to gas prices being at an historic low for firmus energy customers.

The natural gas distributor has around 51,000 customers across the Ten Towns network that includes Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Craigavon, Limavady, Derry and Newry.

The interim head of the Consumer Council, Raymond Gormley, said the hike is unwelcome news for customers.

“However, we are aware the main driver is the significant rise in the cost of wholesale gas globally over the last year,” he said.

Firmus Energy managing director Michael Scott said: “During 2020 the price of wholesale gas decreased dramatically on the world markets, leading to Firmus energy being able to offer our lowest ever tariffs. Today’s announcement, while unwelcome, is a sign of the market readjusting after 2020 to more standard levels.

“Any increase is never welcome news and we recognise this comes at a particularly difficult time for many. We want to assure our customers that we will continue to monitor and review our tariffs to ensure customers are getting the best prices possible.”

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