Energy bills rise by 70% in October ‘and will rise further’ | Newry Times

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Monday, November 8th, 2021
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The Consumer Council has released its Home Energy Index for October 2021 which tracks energy prices changes in Northern Ireland.

 

Consumer energy bills rise by 70% in October 'and will rise further' - Newry Times - news newry county down

 

The consumer rights body’s composite index is calculated by combining electricity, natural gas and home heating oil prices to create one overarching figure which uses appropriate weighting to reflect usage and market share.

 

 

The October 2021 Index shows that household energy bills increased by 70 per cent between 1 October 2021 and 31 October 2021.

By the end of September 2021, home heating oil prices had already returned to December 2019 levels, as had the Power NI regulated electricity tariff, while natural gas prices remained 10 to 20 per cent below that level.

Their October Energy Index confirms that all three energy sources now cost more than they did in December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

 


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For example, it reflects the 1 October increases to the regulated natural gas tariffs in Belfast and the Ten Towns that took prices at least 9% above December 2019 levels.

Commenting on the publication, Peter McClenaghan, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability at Consumer Council says, “The Consumer Council and the Utility Regulator have been forewarning consumers since summer 2021 to expect price rises.

However, this data puts into harsh perspective how much prices have increased for consumers.”

The Consumer Council recently attended the Northern Ireland Assembly Economy Committee, sharing this research and commenting on how Northern Ireland could achieve net-zero.

 

 

Speaking on attendance at the Economy Committee, Peter says, “As Northern Ireland’s consumer advocacy body, we are campaigning for consumers to be placed at the heart of decision making regarding energy transition.

“Given that the vast majority of Northern Ireland households use fossil fuels for home heating the move to net-zero will likely require many of us to make significant lifestyle changes, including how we heat our homes.

“The current crisis highlights that energy affordability can be a real challenge for many consumers.

“So it is essential that appropriate support and incentives are put in place for people here, and that change occurs at the least cost to the consumer purse.

“The work the Department of the Economy has undertaken to develop its soon to be published Energy Strategy is a really positive step forward in that regard.”

 

 

Peter continues, “Worryingly, skyrocketing wholesale prices will continue to push up consumer bills over the winter months.

“Consumers who are struggling with their energy bills should contact their supplier directly for help and information.

“The Consumer Council continues to work with energy companies, Government Departments and the Utility Regulator to encourage the development of initiatives to help consumers struggling to pay their energy bills,” he adds.

The Consumer Council’s website has a number of free resources including Switch On: A Guide for Home Energy Users, which helps consumers be more energy efficient at home, get the best from their electricity or gas supply and save money.

Consumers can also 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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