The announcement of a 7.6% increase in the cost of gas for homes and small businesses in Belfast comes after a surge in the wholesale cost of fossil fuels on world markets.
The new tariff which has been approved by the Energy Regulator takes effect on the first of April.
It is the first hike in gas prices in Northern Ireland for four years. The rise would have been greater had not SSE Airtricity over recovered costs from customers last year to the tune of £2.6 million. That money which is now being returned to households and small businesses means the increase is being kept under 10%.
Andrew Greer, General Manager of SSE Airtricity Gas, said: “We’re sorry we have to increase gas prices at this time however in the last year wholesale natural gas prices on global markets have increased by more than 50%.
“The average SSE Airtricity household gas bill is still £124 cheaper than it was two years ago and this change has been examined and approved by the Utility Regulator.”
The price change will apply to 141,000 SSE Airtricity home and small business customers in Greater Belfast
Kevin Shiels, the Utility Regulator’s Director of Retail and Consumer Protection added: “The main reason for this tariff change is due to the increase in international wholesale energy which has resulted in significant cost increases for SSE Airtricity Gas Supply.
Mr Shiels added: “This increase will still leave the SSE Airtricity Gas Supply domestic tariff for Greater Belfast lower than the average standard tariff in the Republic of Ireland and amongst the lowest standard gas tariffs in the UK.”
In the Greater Belfast area firmus energy competes with SSE Airtricity for customers. It has not announced its new tariff.
Next week firmus will reveal its tariff for the Ten Towns area. It is expected to be above 10%.
Published on 03/03/2017