Firmus announces further 16% gas price hike for Northern Ireland's Ten Towns area

Around 59,000 gas customers in Northern Ireland are set to be impacted by a further hike in price by the region’s largest supplier Firmus Energy.

An increase of 16.31% is to be imposed from 3 May 2022, which will see a typical bill for a household with a credit meter rise by about £211 per year to £1,504.

Customers with a prepayment gas meter will see costs increase by around £201 per year to £1,432.

The move comes after a 33.57% hike to the Ten Towns tariff by Firmus in February and a 39% rise for customers of SSE Airtricity which take effect from 1 April 2022 and means a typical household will see an annual increase of £244.

Belfast customers are expected to hear of an increase in the next week.

The Consumer Council is warning more and more people will be plunged into fuel poverty, as families struggle to find extra money to pay for heating amid the cost of living crisis.

Raymond Gormley, Head of Energy Policy at the Consumer Council, said: “It is important that consumers are made aware that their domestic gas bills will stay high for at least the next year because the wholesale price that the companies pay for the gas continues to be much more expensive than the norm.

“Unfortunately, heating oil prices are also very high, so regardless of the fuel we use, many of us will experience extreme pressure on our household budgets.”

The Consumer Council is continuing to call for the energy industry to commit to financially supporting the continuation of a fuel hardship scheme.

“For the longer term, it is clear that energy companies, policy makers, the Utility Regulator, charities and the Consumer Council must continue to work together to develop sustainable solutions to help support those in need, as the problem of high energy prices will likely be with us for the foreseeable future,” Mr Gormley said.

Consumers who are struggling to pay their energy bills or struggling to pay to top-up their meter should contact their supplier directly for support.

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