Northern Ireland consumers will not avail of Ofgem energy price cap decrease

The Consumer Council explains that instead of a price cap, Northern Ireland has a 'tariff review process'.

The drop in Ofgem's energy price cap announced in Great Britain on Thursday will not apply to consumers in Northern Ireland.

The cap is set to decrease to £2,074 to reflect falling wholesale energy prices.

Northern Ireland won't receive the same benefits as the energy market works differently to the rest of the UK.

Director of the Consumer Council Peter McClenaghan said Northern Ireland's electric and gas markets are "overseen by our Utility Regulator".

"Instead of a price cap we have a tariff review process.

"This requires the largest supplier in each network area to show the Utility Regulator, the Consumer Council, and the Department for the Economy that they are setting fair prices based on the price of wholesale energy.

"This tariff then acts as a price to beat for other suppliers.

"The Northern Ireland regime has distinct benefits which include clarity for consumers as to the profit margin suppliers are permitted; 2% for regulated gas suppliers and 2.2% for Power NI.

"It has also meant that prices have been lower in Northern Ireland than in Great Britain for much of the last year."

In terms of future costs, Mr McClenaghan outlined that "regulated tariffs of Power NI and SSE Airtricity Gas (Greater Belfast area) are currently under review and price changes are expected to be announced in the next few weeks."

"After the price announcements are made we encourage consumers to visit our free online Energy Price Comparison Tool to check that they are on the best tariff for their needs," he added.

"The Consumer Council is engaging with Government and stakeholders about help for Northern Ireland consumers next winter because we know prices will remain higher than average and many consumers are struggling to pay their bills.”

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