Power NI announces price increase for customers impacting over 461,000 homes

The price change will come into effect from July 1, 2022.

Power NI has announced a 27.5% price increase for customers.

The move equates to an increase of £3.92 a week for a typical household electricity bill.

The price change will come into effect from July 1, 2022.

Power NI says 'the change is entirely due to the sustained unparalleled price increases witnessed in the wholesale energy markets, which have been impacted by ongoing global issues'.

The Utility Regulator says 'Power NI’s tariff for an average domestic credit customer will increase by £204 to £944 a year'.

William Steele, Director, Power NI Customer Solutions, said: “We work hard to keep our prices as low as possible and have absorbed costs for as long as we can.

"Regrettably, geopolitical factors outside our control, have resulted in prolonged high costs in the international wholesale energy markets. Like other suppliers we have no choice but to pay these increased costs, which feed into the price of wholesale electricity and have a knock-on effect on tariffs.

“In these challenging times and with such a volatile market, we held off making this change for as long as possible, with this price change not coming into effect until July 2022. As soon as we see an opportunity to reduce prices, we will do so without delay. For any customers who are worried about paying a bill, please get in contact and we can help you.

“We value all our customers, and we remain committed to helping those who are being impacted by the cumulative rise in the cost of living.

"As well as working directly with customers, we will continue to work closely with our charity partners and government, assisting in helping those who are struggling. We have worked with government departments providing financial and operational support to help deliver the emergency response fund to the most vulnerable in our society and we are ready to continue to support any future schemes.”

The Consumer Council says more than 461,000 households are set to be affected.

Raymond Gormley, Head of Energy Policy at the Consumer Council, said: “This is Power NI’s second tariff increase this year and its biggest since October 2008.

"It will impact more than half Northern Ireland’s households, many of whom are already upset, worried, and angry about energy price increases. While consumers get that price increases are happening due to global reasons, that knowledge does not help when it comes to paying their bills.

“With 53% of prepayment electricity consumers telling us they have had to cut back on food purchases to be able to afford a top up, many households are going to need significant financial support in the coming winter.

“At a minimum, this support should include re-running the Department for Communities Energy Payment Support Scheme for a wider group of people and re-establishing the Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme that the Consumer Council worked hard to get off the ground in partnership with the Department, energy companies and Bryson Charitable Group.

“We urge anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills or to top-up their meter, to contact their supplier directly for help and support. We also encourage consumers to think about ways they can reduce their energy costs through energy efficiency and, importantly, if possible, trying to save over the summer months to cover energy costs during winter 2022-23.

“In the longer term, this situation shows the importance of the Department for the Economy’s Energy Strategy Action Plan, that aims to tackle affordability and move Northern Ireland away from its dependence on fossil fuels.”

John French, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator said: “Power NI provided a submission to the Utility Regulator in April to increase their regulated electricity tariff. Following a thorough analysis of all their costs, and in consultation with the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, we have accepted their submission to increase their tariff by 27.5%.

“Following this increase, Power NI’s tariff for an average domestic credit customer will increase by £204 to £944 a year. From 1 July 2022, Power NI’s regulated domestic tariff will be 17% cheaper than the average standard tariffs in GB and Ireland.”