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Second provider raises electricity prices by 13% as consumers urged to shop around



Claire McAllister, Electric Ireland's sales and marketing manager.

Claire McAllister, Electric Ireland's sales and marketing manager.

Claire McAllister, Electric Ireland's sales and marketing manager.

Northern Ireland consumers have been advised to shop around for the best electricity prices as a second power provider announces a hike of over 13%.

Electric Ireland said it will push its prices up by 13.3% at the beginning of October in response to "sustained increases in wholesale energy prices".

And it will mean a jump of around £5.32 per month for its customers - or £64 per year.

The rise follows Power NI's announcement that it would be pushing its prices up by 13.8% from October 1.

The move has been driven largely by the rising price of gas, which rose by 30% in the last year.

And as it pulls on the purse strings of households, the Consumer Council is advising local customers to shop around to find the best deal.

Sinead Dynan, director of regulated industries at the Council, said: "This is the second electricity price increase announcement this month.

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"With one in five households in fuel poverty and struggling to heat their homes, this reinforces The Consumer Council's message that consumers must actively shop around to make sure they are on the best deal.

"To support consumers in the switching process, we have a price comparison tool on our website (www.consumercouncil.org.uk) which uses five simple steps to working out the best deal.

"We are also inviting consumers to bring a copy of their latest electricity bill to our Energy Switching Workshop on August 28 to see if we can find them a better deal."

Electric Ireland's sales and marketing manager, Clare McAllister, said the firm will continue to be competitive in spite of price increases.

She said that the company was committed to keeping prices as low as possible.

"It has been a difficult decision to make, but the wholesale costs required to supply electricity are continuing to rise and we have had to re-evaluate our pricing as a result of these increasing costs," she said.

"We can assure our customers that, even when our price increase is implemented on October 1, Electric Ireland's prices will continue to remain competitive."

The four main electricity suppliers are Power NI, Electric Ireland, SSE Airtricity, Budget Energy and Click Energy.