Energy price increases in Northern Ireland 'set to heighten cost of living pressures'

A number of companies will raise their prices in the coming days. Credit: PA

Energy price increases set to take effect in Northern Ireland will "heighten the cost-of-living pressures" people are facing, the Consumer Council says.

It comes as Budget Energy, Click Energy, Electric Ireland, Firmus Energy, and SSE Airtricity all raise their prices in the coming days.

“This week all but one energy company in Northern Ireland will apply large price increases to domestic consumer bills," said Peter McClenaghan from the Consumer Council.

"These increases will heighten the cost-of-living pressure most Northern Ireland consumers are already experiencing."

On Thursday, the economy minister said it is hoped energy support payments will be made in Northern Ireland in November.

Gordon Lyons said good progress has been made in the last few days over the Energy Support Scheme payments.

The scheme will see a £400 energy bill discount from government administered by the energy companies.

The Consumer Council is urging people to try and reduce their energy usage where possible through adopting energy efficiency measures.

Mr McClenaghan went on: “We welcome the progress announced last week by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the delivery of the Energy Bill Support Scheme and Energy Price Guarantee.

"However, even under the Price Cap, energy bills will remain hundreds of pounds higher than they have previously been.

"For those who can, we encourage consumers to try to reduce the energy they are using through adopting energy efficiency measures.

"This is particularly important because the Energy Price Guarantee, when it is implemented, will be a cap on the unit rate of energy; meaning you could still face bills over £2,500 if you use a lot of energy."