Northern Ireland

Firmus Energy to cut domestic gas tariffs by 15.6% from April

But many households in the north will face energy bills of more than £2,000 this year

Firmus Energy, which supplies natural gas to Belfast and its Ten Towns Network across the north, is to cut its prices for the second time this year in April.
Firmus Energy, which supplies natural gas to Belfast and its Ten Towns Network across the north, is to cut its tariffs in response to falling wholesale energy prices.

Firmus Energy has announced a 15.6% cut to gas bills for customers on the Ten Towns and Greater Belfast networks from April.

Depending on how customers pay, it will result in a saving of between £208 and £237 per year.

But consumers are still paying considerably more for domestic gas than three years ago.

The reduction will affect around 112,000 domestic and small business Firmus energy gas customers.

The cut has been driven by the steady fall in wholesale energy prices.

It comes just days after the north’s biggest electricity supplier Power NI announced a 6.3% reduction to its domestic tariff from April.

SSE Airtricity has also confirmed its gas tariff for both households and small businesses will fall by 22.8% from next month.

Power NI is the north’s only regulated electricity supplier, while SSE Airtricity’s Greater Belfast gas tariff and Firmus Energy’s Ten Towns gas tariff, are also subject to scrutiny by the Utility Regulator.

From April, the average Ten Towns gas household will pay £1,151 per year for gas.

That’s more than double the £518 annual rate households on the same network would have paid for gas for most of 2021.

The average Firmus Energy household on a pay as you go meter in Greater Belfast will pay around £1,263.60 per year from April 1 2024.

The average SSE Airtricity gas household in Greater Belfast and on the western network, will pay around £1,079 per year from April.

The equivalent annual heating bill for oil-fired households in the north currently stands at around £1,190 per year, based on 3.5 fills of 500 litres.

The Consumer Council’s latest survey suggests 500 litres of home heating oil now costs around £340 in Northern Ireland.

Firmus Energy is ultimately owned by UK infrastructure manager Equitix.
Firmus Energy supplies gas to around 108,000 customers in the north.

The Utility Regulator estimates that Power NI customers will pay around £951 per year from April, which is less than the average annual electricity bill in Britain (£1,066) and in the Republic (£1,291).

The equivalent annual gas bill Britain averages at around £891 per year, while the average household in the Republic pays around £1,359 per year for gas.

Irrespective of whether households use gas or home heating oil, many will still face paying more than £2,000 for energy this year.

The Ten Towns Network area includes Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Craigavon (including Lurgan and Portadown), Limavady, Derry, Newry, and more than 25 other towns and villages in the surrounding areas.