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Wholesale gas prices fall as retail costs rise

In regard to your recent article on energy prices (News, September 2), I notice that the latest price hike by Power NI, with presumably Phoenix Gas to follow suit, has been justified by the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator Shane Lynch as a "direct result of wholesale energy costs". This is bunkum.

I did a quick check of my own: wholesale gas prices have been steadily falling since 2008, while the retail cost to the consumer has been increasing year by year. Wholesale gas prices in 2010 were at 2004 levels, having peaked in 2008.

The Utility Regulator is basically trotting out the mantra of the energy companies themselves.

GRAHAM ELLISON

Belfast

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