SSE Airtricity increases gas prices by 42.7%

The announcement comes on the same day as its 33% increase in electricity prices came into effect
The announcement comes on the same day as its 33% increase in electricity prices came into effect

SSE Airtricity is increasing its Greater Belfast gas tariff by 42.7% from July 1 which will mean higher bills for around 187,000 homes.

The announcement comes on the same day as its 33% increase in electricity prices came into effect.

Read More: SSE reports big profits jump... but bills still going up

Consumer Council says the gas price hike translates to an increase of £372 per year to the gas bill of households with a credit meter while customers with a prepayment gas meter (PAYG) will see their costs increase by £367 per year, taking the overall average household yearly gas bill to over £1,200.

Raymond Gormley, Head of Energy Policy at the Consumer Council said the price rise was "shocking but sadly it is not unusual"

“We know the biggest challenge for many consumers right now is having enough money for food and energy. Our research shows fuel poverty in Northern Ireland stood at 34% in March. This means even before today’s announcements one in three households were feeling their purse strings stretched near breaking point."

Mr Gormley called for "significant" financial support for households ahead of the winter.

“The Consumer Council is working to protect consumers by encouraging government to introduce financial support ahead of the coming winter and clarity is needed about if, how, and when the Chancellor’s energy support package will be made available to people here."

He added that the Consumer Council was speaking to SSE Airtricity regarding billing practice processes, customer communications and support for vulnerable customers.

"We urge anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills or to top-up their meter, to contact their supplier directly for help and support. We also encourage consumers to think about ways they can reduce their energy costs through energy efficiency and if possible, try to save money over the summer months to cover energy costs during the coming winter."

Consumers can get in touch with the Consumer Council for free independent advice by calling Freehpone 0800 121 6022 or by emailing

Andrew Greer, SSE Airtricity General Manager (NI) said he knew this was "not the news our customers want to hear".

"The cost of purchasing natural gas has remained at its highest level in over a decade and at times in recent months, it has hit record highs," he said.

"We would encourage any customer who is having difficulty with their energy costs to please contact us, and we will work with you to find a solution together. "

The company said it had donated £1m to a local charity to support people struggling with the cost of living.

SSE Airtricity said any customer facing payment difficulties should contact the company which "will work with them to find a solution".

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said she is barred from doing more to help alleviate the cost of living by the continued lack of a fully functioning Stormont executive.

“I think we have £420 million here that we could release today if we had a functioning executive, so I think the focus of all politicians and everyone who was elected a few weeks ago… get back round the table and reform an executive.

“We know that there was an announcement last week by the British Chancellor in terms of financial payments that will come across to people here, so those in receipt of certain means-tested benefits, of disability benefits and those on working tax credits will receive payments in two lots, in the summer and then another payment in the autumn.

“We don’t think that that does far enough, we think that the British Government needs to do much more, but of course if we had a functioning executive here, we could release the £420 million which is sitting there as well.

“I have been working to make bids for that money in order to look at new energy schemes that we could roll out, to look at discretionary support and putting more money in to help people in financial crisis, but in the absence of an executive that creates an obstacle in terms of unlocking that money.

“I think in the midst of crisis when people are really struggling, we have a responsibility to get back around the executive table, to unlock that money and to work in this public emergency to respond to the needs of families and communities.”

Customers who wish to speak to SSE Airtricity can do so by visiting or by calling 0345 900 5253.

  • The Consumer Council’s website has a number of free resources including Switch On: A Guide for Home Energy Users to help consumers be more energy efficient at home
  • Consumers can also get free independent advice from the Consumer Council website and by calling it on Freephone 0800 121 6022 or emailing