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Firmus cuts energy bills for 28,000 customers

By Lesley Houston

Published 10/03/2016

Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell
Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell

Firmus Energy has slashed more than 28,000 customers’ energy bills in 10 towns across Northern Ireland, amounting to average annual savings of £43.

The company yesterday revealed its tariff was being reduced by 7.7% in its ‘Ten Towns’ area, which includes Londonderry, Coleraine, Newry, Ballymena, Armagh and Antrim.

Customers in Craigavon, Banbridge, Limavady, Ballymoney and their outlying catchment areas will also benefit from the cuts.

Yesterday’s news follows a 9.75% cut for Firmus’ customers in the Greater Belfast area announced on Monday.

This is the third reduction within the past year, and means Firmus customers’ bills have fallen by around 12%.

Michael Scott, managing director for Firmus Energy, said: “We have more than 28,000 customers in the Ten Towns area and continually strive to keep our natural gas prices as low and as stable as possible for our customers.

“Along with our excellent customer service we monitor all costs and global wholesale fuel prices on a daily basis to ensure our tariffs offer the best value possible and any savings are passed on as soon as we can to our customers.”

The Utility Regulator has welcomed the price cut as “great news for customers”, attributing falling wholesale gas costs.

“As we regulate Firmus Energy’s prices in the Ten Towns, their customers can be confident, that due to our regulation, their bills reflect the actual costs of supplying gas to their homes and businesses.”

She added that the price cut meant tariffs were among the lowest in the UK and Republic of Ireland and follows a review of prices in the Ten Towns remit undertaken by the Utility Regulator and Firmus Energy, in consultation with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

Welcoming the announcement, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell said: “The planned retail gas price reduction by firmus energy in their ‘10 Towns’ licence area is welcome news for gas consumers, and follows their announcement earlier this week of a price reduction of up to 9.75% in the Greater Belfast gas market.’’

The Minister added: “In recent weeks, we have seen the announcement of a number of electricity and gas price reductions and, while these will impact mostly on domestic and smaller business customers, it is likely larger energy users will also be seeing benefits from falls in wholesale energy prices on world markets.”

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