Northern Ireland Energy Holdings claimed today it was helping to alleviate energy price increases at a time of unprecedented rises — through operating at a significantly lower cost.
The mutualised company was due to hold its AGM in Belfast today after its third full year of operation.
NI Energy Holdings is a mutual company which manages energy assets and has no shareholders, with any financial surpluses for the benefit of energy consumers rather then private shareholders. It owns and operates the Moyle Interconnector which links the electricity systems of Northern Ireland and Scotland, and the Premier Transmission Pipeline System, which consists of the Scotland to Northern Ireland natural gas transmission pipeline (SNIP) and the Belfast Gas Transmission Pipeline (BGTP).
Speaking ahead of today’s AGM, NI Energy Holdings chairman Alastair Locke said management of the Moyle Interconnector asset “has made a very substantial contribution to keeping electricity tariffs in Northern Ireland as low as possible”.
He said the Moyle Interconnector has already set aside £9.4m for the year 07/08 and £3.5m for 08/09 from previously earned revenue to help alleviate energy prices.
Earlier this month, Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) announced a 33.3% price rise, following a 14% increase in July. This means the average annual domestic bill is set to soar from £439 to £585, causing widespread concern for customers in light of other inflation. NI Energy Holdings mutualised the transmission assets of Phoenix Natural Gas, renamed Belfast Gas Transmission, in March, which its says will reduce the cost of operating these pipelines by more than 50% from £9.6m to £4.5m in its first year. Mr Locke said: “At a time of unprecedented energy price increases, we are able to report that the mutualised model is clearly working, helping to alleviate energy price increases and bringing ownership of key energy infrastructure back to Northern Ireland.”