Firmus announces reduction in gas prices from April

General view of a gas hob burning. Firmus Energy has said it will increase its natural gas prices across much of Northern Ireland by 35.15% from October. 
Issue date: Wednesday September 8, 2021.
Picture by: Gareth Fuller / PA Images
Gas supplier Firmus has announced that they will be reducing prices across Northern Ireland from 1 April.

Gas supplier Firmus Energy has announced a reduction in prices across Northern Ireland from 1 April.

The company said it will be reducing tariffs for customers in the Ten Towns Network area by 18.84%, and by 22.43% in the Greater Belfast Network area.

The Ten Towns Network area includes Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Craigavon (including Lurgan and Portadown), Limavady, Londonderry, Newry, and more than 25 other towns and villages.

This is the second price reduction that Firmus has announced in 2023 following a drop which applied from 1 January.

It follows a series of gas price increases in 2022 amid rises in wholesale gas prices after Russia reduced its gas flows via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Europe by 80%.

The latest reduction announced by Firmus will reduce the average cost by £6.44 per week in Ten Towns and by £8.32 in Greater Belfast.

On an annual basis, it is estimated it will save customers £335 and £433.

Firmus Chief Executive Niall Martindale, said the company can reduce prices due to market conditions.

"We previously committed to our customers that as soon as market conditions allowed us to lower our prices we would do so, and today we are pleased to confirm that for the second time this year prices will be further reduced from April 2023," he said.

"We recognise the wider cost-of-living challenges within the communities we serve, and at Firmus, we are working hard to make positive change for our 110,000 loyal and valued customers."

"We continue to work with the UK Government to ensure our customers are also benefiting from the EPG discount scheme.

"This scheme is anticipated to run until March 2024 and will continue to support customers using gas to heat their homes."

Kevin Shiels, interim chief executive at the Utility Regulator, said the announcement comes after a review by the regulator and Firmus Energy, in consultation with the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

"In January 2023, the Utility Regulator commenced a review process with Firmus Energy of its regulated tariff for domestic and small business customers in the Ten Towns gas distribution area," said Mr Shiels.

"This tariff review forms part of our regular scrutiny to make sure that consumer bills reflect the actual cost of providing gas to homes and businesses.

"The review has resulted in a 18.84% decrease to the regulated tariff, which is a direct result of the recent falls in forward wholesale gas prices.

"We are also aware that any change in the level of support provided through the UK Government's Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) scheme would impact the final tariff customers pay."

"If the EPG discount changes, Firmus Energy will adjust their tariffs accordingly and advise their customers.

"We will continue to monitor Firmus Energy's regulated gas tariff and ensure any further falls in costs are passed through to customers at the earliest opportunity.

"If you are worried about paying your energy bill, please contact your electricity or gas supplier in the first instance, to make them aware of your circumstances, and discuss the options available.

"In addition, there are a number of agencies who can provide free and independent advice to households, including Advice NI, Christians Against Poverty and Money and Pensions Service's MoneyHelper."

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