Northern Ireland

Power NI and SSE Airtricity announce cuts to electricity and gas tariffs

Suppliers respond to falling price of wholesale gas with 6.3% and 22.8% reductions from April 1

Hand switching on light.
Shallow focus of a home owner switching off a bedroom light after waking up in late morning. Power NI will cut 2p from the price of a unit of electricity (kWh) from April 1 for around 500,000 customers. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The north’s biggest electricity supplier Power NI has announced a 6.3% reduction to its domestic tariff.

It will cut 2p from the price of a unit of electricity (kWh) from April 1 for around 500,000 customers.

Power NI said the change will save the average household on its standard home energy tariff around £64 per year.

It comes as SSE Airtricity announced a 22.8% reduction to its gas tariff from April 1 for both households and small businesses.

The gas supplier estimates it will save a typical household customer £320.47 annually.

SSE Airtricity supply gas to around 200,000 households and small businesses, primarily in the greater Belfast and west networks.

Both Power NI and SSE Airtricity are regulated suppliers, meaning their tariffs are regularly subject to review by the Utility Regulator.

The cuts announced on Friday are linked to the falling price of wholesale natural gas.

The soaring wholesale price of gas in 2021 and 2022 was eventually passed onto customers by suppliers.

The Utility Regulator said the latest review of the tariffs had been initiated in January 2024.

That review also looked at the Firmus tariff on the Ten Towns network. An announcement by Firmus is expected next week.

Average annual bills (from April 1 2024)*Power NI (electricity) and SSE Airtricity (gas - greater Belfast and west)Great BritainRepublic of Ireland
Electricity£951£1,066£1,291
Gas£1,079£891£1,359
Total£2,030£1,957£2,650
*Based on 12,000 kWh of gas and 3,200 kWh of electricity via direct debit

The cuts have been welcomed by the Consumer Council.

The head of energy policy at the watchdog, Raymond Gormley, said: “These tariff decreases are welcome news as they indicate a downward trend in wholesale energy prices.

“We work closely with the Utility Regulator and regulated supply companies to help protect and support consumers during price increases and we also ensure that that any cost savings are passed onto consumers as soon as possible during price decreases.

“We know from our research that most consumers in Northern Ireland are still really worried about home energy prices.

“We urge anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills or top-up their meters to contact their supplier directly for help and support.

“Now that there is some change in electricity prices with the regulated and unregulated suppliers, we encourage consumers to use our free online energy price comparison tools to check that they are on the best deal or if they could save money by switching supplier, billing method or tariff.”

Power NI’s customer solutions director William Steele, said: “As wholesale prices in the global market have fallen, Power NI has been able to deliver yet another decrease in unit prices for our customers, with our fourth consecutive tariff reduction.

“Despite market volatility we have been able to keep our tariffs below the equivalent GB and Republic of Ireland average, enabling us to continue to provide stability and delivering hundreds of pounds in savings for local households over the last year.”

SSE Airtricity general manager in Northern Ireland, Andrew Greer, said: “We know energy costs are a primary concern for customers across Northern Ireland, and that wholesale market volatility has impacted households and business so this price reduction will no doubt provide some welcome relief.

“However, we recognise that energy costs will remain difficult for many customers, so, as well as reducing prices whenever we can, we also work with customers to offer additional support and services.”