Power NI to hike electricity prices by 6%
Northern Ireland's largest energy supplier, Power NI, is to hike electricity prices by 6.1%, meaning the typical bill for those on its standard tariff will jump by £35/year.
The price increase, effective from Tuesday 1 October, will see the average annual electricity bill for a typical user on the supplier's standard variable tariff rise from £565 to £600.
Northern Ireland's Utility Regulator, which oversees Power NI's domestic charges, agreed to the new prices. Power NI supplies around 460,000 customers – about 57% of all Northern Ireland's electricity customers – though it doesn't provide gas.
All customers will be hit by the rise, as Power NI doesn't offer fixed deals – though you can get a discount of up to 6% on its standard tariff depending on how you pay. To get the max 6% discount, you'll need to manage your account online and pay by direct debit.
See our Cheap Northern Ireland Energy guide for full help and switching information.
Why are prices increasing?
According to Power NI, the price hike is due to the increased costs of using the electricity network, which the Utility Regulator says is down to fixed costs still having to be paid despite a fall in demand for electricity across Northern Ireland.
This follows a 13.8% increase last year due to rising wholesale costs.
'Approving any increase is not a decision we take lightly'
Utility Regulator chief executive Jenny Pyper said: "Approving any increase to electricity bills is not a decision we take lightly. It is disappointing that, due to a number of rising costs, Power NI need to increase its domestic tariff.
"However, we have fully scrutinised every element of the tariff to ensure it reflects the actual cost of supplying electricity to Northern Ireland homes, and is therefore justified."
Power NI managing director Stephen McCully said: "Unfortunately, like all suppliers, we have no alternative but to pay these increased network and market charges, which have a knock-on effect on our prices.
"Having been through a rigorous process with the Utility Regulator, our customers can be sure that although unwelcome, this increase is as low as possible."