Newry customers to benefit from electricity price reduction
Amid all the doom and gloom of fuel and living costs increasing on an almost constant basis, there was welcome relief today after Northern Ireland’s Power NI announced they are reducing electricity prices by 14%.
Power NI, who have a customer base of around 640,000 and 28,000 businesses, say the average customer will now pay around £505 a year compared to the present figure of £588.
The company stated that this will be implemented in October 2012 and should save their customers around £83 a year.
However, it is still represents a 4.5% increase in prices that Northern Ireland customers enjoyed little over 20 months ago, before Power NI announced a rise of 18.5%.
The decision by Power NI could also represent good news to Airtricity customers after insiders in the industry intimated that Airtricity and Budget Energy will try and stay competitive and perhaps lower their own prices.
Utility Regulator chief executive Shane Lynch said today’s announcement was good news for consumers. “I’m delighted that regulated electricity prices are reducing for domestic and small business consumers. This shows that our regulation is working effectively for consumers.”
“Following this price decrease, regulated domestic electricity prices in Northern Ireland will be below the GB average and around 15% cheaper than current Republic of Ireland prices. Other suppliers in the market are now likely to review their prices in light of this announcement.
“Consumers are free to choose their electricity supplier and I would encourage them to explore the choices available to them.”
The price slash will last at least 12 months according to Lynch. He added, “”Unless there are very wild fluctuations in world fuel prices we would be hopeful that we could hold these prices for a year. As always, we will continue to monitor wholesale fuel costs and any significant changes in these costs that could result in a tariff review.”
Stephen McCully, managing director of Power NI, added: “We’ve listened to our customers and we know that great service and better value are more important than ever. So we’re delighted to introduce this price reduction. This sees our customers benefiting from lower world fuel costs and savings from increased efficiencies.!
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke welcomed the significant price reduction.
“This decision by Power NI to cut electricity prices by 14% will bring welcome relief to consumers across South Down and Northern Ireland who are struggling to keep up with household bills. With many people in recent years having to face the decision between heating or eating during the winter period, this price drop will help them get through this winter.”
Clarke hopes all other electricity suppliers will follow suit. “I would urge all utility firms to ensure that any savings that they are making are passed onto consumers. Power NI said they would do this, so I thank them for honouring this commitment.”
“This price drop could also be the result of greater competition in the electricity markets in recent years. I hope that other firms will also be making similar announcements in the coming months.”
Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin stated, “Of course any reduction in energy prices is very welcome especially considering the only news we ever hear on energy pricing is rise after rise.”
“Families and indeed businesses are struggling with energy prices currently and things are not getting any easier so it is important that NIE realises the difficulties people are facing and responds accordingly.”
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