Price hikes come into effect for three major electricity and gas suppliers in Northern Ireland

Power NI, SSE Airtricity and Firmus Energy customers will all see their prices rise from today.

Three energy price hikes come into effect in Northern Ireland today.

Firmus and SSE Airtricity customers will see their gas bills increase, whilst those with Power NI will also pay more.

The price increases were announced earlier this year, with firms blaming the sustained high prices in wholesale energy.

The Firmus price hike will affect customers in the Greater Belfast area with their bills increasing by 24.54%, adding an extra £5.68 onto the average household bill. The change in tariffs will mean an extra £5.68 per week on to the average household bill.

SSE Airtricity is increasing its gas prices by 42.7% for all domestic and small business customers - equal to over £7 each week for the average customers.

Meanwhile, Power NI's electricity price hike will see tariffs rise by 27.5% with customers paying around £3.92 extra each week, based on typical bills.

The latest price rises coming into effect today come on top of a series of other increases announced by other suppliers throughout Northern Ireland in recent months.

The Consumer Council has encouraged people to use their free Energy Price Comparison Tool to show consumers what tariffs are available to them.

It also says that anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bill should contact their supplier for help.

Suppliers should support consumers by helping to develop manageable repayment plans, providing additional protection to older or disabled people or those who are chronically ill.

Suppliers should also provide energy efficiency advice to help reduce usage.

Yesterday, the Consumer Council also revealed the latest average cost of home heating oil, on its weekly tracker.

300 litres of oil now costs an average of £325.98, whilst a 500 litre fill of oil will cost £523.09, according to the latest statistics.

Its fuel price checker also says the average fuel price has increased in Northern Ireland: 197.5p for a litre of diesel and 189.9p for a litre of petrol.

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