Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Power NI


By John Simpson

Power NI Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Viridian Group, is the largest supplier of electricity to domestic users in Northern Ireland. In response to increased costs in supplying electricity, last October Power NI increased prices by 5.6%.

This year, on October 1, prices will increase by a further 13.8%. In March 2017, Power NI supplied 483,000 domestic households, down from 510,000 a year earlier. This represents 58% of all households here.

The company also has supply contracts with 34,000 non-domestic users, usually businesses and farms, representing 18% of the non-domestic market.

Power NI did not make any payment of dividends to its owners in the years to March 2015. In 2016, dividends of £30m were paid and in 2017, dividends of £25m were paid. With a balance sheet value of shareholders' funds of just in excess of £110m, there is a significant rate of return to the parent company shareholders.

As an electricity supplier, Power NI does not own major tangible assets. The equity investment, as summed in the balance sheet and including working capital, was stated as £113.9m at the end of March 2017.

The balance sheet value of intangible assets - mainly RoCs - was £31.3m. As the availability of increasing amounts of renewable energy has entered the commercial arena, Power NI has become a trading partner in renewables, partly through the purchase of Renewable Obligation Certificates*, which are the revenue incentive earned, mainly, by wind farms across Northern Ireland.

(* In the year to March 2017, over £52m was spent to acquire RoCs)

Belfast Telegraph

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