Northern Ireland news

Price hike 'hard to fathom' as customers confused over electricity costs

Electric Ireland customer sin the north are to face a price hike of 23.9% from January 1
Paul Ainsworth

A STEEP price increase by one of the north's main energy suppliers following a cut by a rival company has been described as "hard to fathom".

Electric Ireland has said prices will increase by 23.9 per cent from January 1, adding around £290 to the annual bill for customers.

The hike follows a tariff decrease of 14.2 per cent by Power NI, set to occur on the same date, following a review by the Utility Regulator.

Electric Ireland has described the rise as "necessary" due to international wholesale costs.

The increase has been called "really disappointing" by the Consumer Council, and comes as no firm date for the promised £600 energy payment from the UK government has yet been fixed for the north.

SDLP MLA Matthew O'Toole condemned the confusion facing customers.

"Given Electric Ireland and Power NI operate in the same market, it is hard to fathom why Electric Ireland have decided to introduce a large increase in prices, while Power NI have been able to reassure customers there will be no further increases this winter," he told The Irish News.

"At a time when families are finding it increasingly difficult to heat their homes and run vital appliances I would expect electricity companies to do everything within their power to keep prices as low as possible.

He added: With no sign of the £600 support payment from the British government reaching the North I would ask electricity companies to work with people here and make every allowance to help them through the cost of living emergency.”

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