Northern Ireland's biggest electricity supplier to hike prices by 21%
Northern Ireland's largest electricity supplier Power NI is to increase electricity prices by 21.4%, meaning the typical bill for those on its standard tariff will jump by a massive £131/year.
The price increase, effective from 1 January 2022, will see the average annual electricity bill for a typical user on the supplier's standard variable tariff rise from £610/yr on typical use to £741/yr
The rise comes off the back of record high gas and electricity wholesale prices, the amount providers pay for energy.
The new prices were agreed with Northern Ireland's Utility Regulator, which oversees Power NI's domestic charges. Power NI supplies about 450,000 customers – around 55% of all Northern Ireland's electricity customers.
This increase only affects the maximum price Power NI can charge. While prices are high across all suppliers right now, some may be able to save by switching supplier. For more, see our Cheap Northern Ireland Energy guide.
Why are prices increasing?
According to the Utility Regulator, it agreed to the price increase due the massive increase in wholesale energy costs, and a huge drop in wind power output.
As part of its monitoring of Power NI's pricing, costs and profits, the regulator decided to raise the maximum average charge for customers to 23.15p per kilowatt hour of electricity.
What does Power NI say?
William Steele, director of Power NI Customer Solutions, said: "We work very hard to keep our prices as low as possible, but regrettably there has been a rapid and sustained increase in wholesale gas prices over recent months. Like other suppliers, we have no choice but to pay these increased costs, which feed into the cost of wholesale electricity and have a knock-on effect on our tariffs.
"In these challenging times and with such a volatile market, we held off making this change for as long as possible, with this price change not coming into effect until January 2022. As soon as we see an opportunity to reduce prices, we will do so without delay."