Government announces energy bills to be capped in Northern Ireland

Energy bills are to be capped in Northern Ireland.

The UK Government has announced a major energy support scheme for homes and business across Northern Ireland.

The plan will see household energy bills - which have rocketed in the past year - capped from November, but backdated to October.

Business are also going to benefit from a similar scheme - with the government saying the support package will be "less than half" this coming winter's costs.

The government said it recognised "the different market fundamentals," in Northern Ireland and a parallel scheme will be established.

However, there is no detail on plans to help with the costs of home heating oil - which most homes in Northern Ireland use.

The government statement said: "If you are not connected to either the gas or electricity grid, equivalent support will also be provided for non-domestic consumers who use heating oil or alternative fuels instead of gas. Further detail on this will be announced shortly."

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said the measures implemented would offer households in Northern Ireland the same level of gas and electricity bill support as an equivalent scheme in Great Britain.

The announcement follows the launch of the Energy Price Guarantee for households in the rest of the UK, under which a typical household will pay on average £2,500 a year on their energy bill for the next two years from October 1.

The scheme limits the price suppliers can charge customers for units of gas and electricity.

Mr Rees-Mogg said the Northern Ireland Energy Price Guarantee will offer households in Northern Ireland the same level of gas and electricity bill support as the equivalent scheme in Great Britain.

The government said the scheme will work through electricity and gas bills.

Energy suppliers will reduce bills by a unit price reduction of up to 17p/kWh for electricity and 4.2p/kWh for gas.

The government said there is no need for householders to take any action to receive this support.

It said the scheme will take effect from November, but the Government said it will ensure households receive support so they will see the same benefit overall as those households in Great Britain by backdating support for October bills through bills from November.

Households in Northern Ireland will also receive a £400 discount on bills through the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.