Electric bills to jump by £40 a year for Power NI customers
THE north's biggest energy supplier Power NI is increasing tariffs by 6.9 per cent for 450,000 domestic users from July 1, which will add around £40 a year to the average bill.
It means customers on its standard domestic electricity tariff will see their average bill jump to £610, though this will be lower than in Britain (£736) and the Republic (£846).
Power NI's hike is much bigger than its rivals SSE Airtricity and Electric Ireland, which imposed increases of 3.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.
The rate change, which has been agreed with the Utility Regulator, is being blamed on a steady increase in the cost of wholesale electricity. Business and farm tariffs remain unchanged.
Power NI customer solutions William Steele said: “We work hard to keep our prices as low as possible, but regrettably world fuel prices have been increasing and, like other suppliers, we have no choice but to pay these increased costs, which feed into the cost of wholesale electricity and have a knock-on effect on our tariffs.
“We've held off making this change for as long as possible, with this price change not coming into effect until July, and as soon as we see an opportunity to reduce prices, as we did last year, we will do so without delay.”
Raymond Gormley, interim head of energy at the NI Consumer Council said: “While this is unwelcome news for consumers, we are aware the main driver is the significant rise in the wholesale costs for energy globally over the last year with home heating oil and natural gas prices on the increase too.
“Any customers who are struggling to pay their bill should contact Power NI without delay to discuss their available options.”