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Power NI 27.5% price hike will increase yearly bill for customers by around £200


Electricity costs are soaring

Electricity costs are soaring

Electricity costs are soaring

Power NI has announced it will be increasing electricity prices by more than a quarter from July 1 for domestic customers in Northern Ireland.

The company will increase their tariff by 27.5%, with the rise set to impact over 461,000 households here.

It means a typical customer with a credit meter will see their bill rise by around £204 per year and customers with a prepayment meter will see a yearly increase of around £199.

Power NI cited “geopolitical factors outside our control” for the latest rise, which they said had impacted on “prolonged high costs in the international wholesale energy markets”.

They claimed they have “absorbed costs for as long as we can”.

This is the second price increase by the company in the last six months, after they previously increased prices by 21.4% on January 1.

"Like other suppliers we have no choice but to pay these increased costs, which feed into the price of wholesale electricity and have a knock-on effect on tariffs,” said Power NI director William Steele.

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“In these challenging times and with such a volatile market, we held off making this change for as long as possible, with this price change not coming into effect until July 2022.

"As soon as we see an opportunity to reduce prices, we will do so without delay. For any customers who are worried about paying a bill, please get in contact and we can help you.”

Power NI suggested customers can ensure they are on the best payment plan for them and also said registering for Power NI’s online billing can save up to £60 per year.

The increase by Power NI was accepted by the Utility Regulator following an analysis of their submission in consultation with the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

John French, chief executive of the Utility Regulator, said if wholesale energy prices fall in the coming months, the regulator will ensure “the extra money collected from consumers will be returned to them in the next tariff period”.

The Consumer Council in Northern Ireland called on the Department for Communities to renew their Energy Payment Support Scheme and provide additional support for households.

“This is Power NI’s second tariff increase this year and its biggest since October 2008. It will impact more than half Northern Ireland’s households, many of whom are already upset, worried, and angry about energy price increases,” said Raymond Gormley from the Consumer Council.

"While consumers get that price increases are happening due to global reasons, that knowledge does not help when it comes to paying their bills.

“With 53% of prepayment electricity consumers telling us they have had to cut back on food purchases to be able to afford a top up, many households are going to need significant financial support in the coming winter.

“At a minimum, this support should include re-running the Department for Communities Energy Payment Support Scheme for a wider group of people and re-establishing the Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme that the Consumer Council worked hard to get off the ground in partnership with the Department, energy companies and Bryson Charitable Group.

“We urge anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills or to top-up their meter, to contact their supplier directly for help and support. We also encourage consumers to think about ways they can reduce their energy costs through energy efficiency and, importantly, if possible, trying to save over the summer months to cover energy costs during winter 2022-23.

“In the longer term, this situation shows the importance of the Department for the Economy’s Energy Strategy Action Plan, that aims to tackle affordability and move Northern Ireland away from its dependence on fossil fuels.”

Consumers can get in touch with the Consumer Council for free independent advice by calling freephone 0800 121 6022 or by emailing contact@consumercouncil.org.uk.

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