SSE Airtricity has confirmed today that, following a consultation with the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator, it will increase its natural gas prices by 9.8%. This tariff change means a typical household customer will see an annual increase of £45.90, equivalent to around 13 pence* per day.
The increase announced today comes into effect from 1 April 2021 and will apply to all domestic and small business customers supplied by the utility. SSE Airtricity is the regulated supplier of natural gas to 178,000^ home and small business customers in the Greater Belfast and Gas in the West network areas.
The company is revising its prices to reflect continuing increases in external costs outside of its control, including rising costs in acquiring natural gas on global wholesale energy markets. Worldwide energy supplies have seen increases in recent months including rising costs of other home heating fuels which are more carbon intensive than natural gas.
In 2020 SSE Airtricity reduced its gas prices by over 18%, bringing its tariffs to some of their lowest levels in recent years and helping customers save over £107 on their annual gas bill. This means that even with today’s announcement, customers will still be paying less than in recent previous years. The increase will also apply at a time of year when energy consumption drops due to warmer weather through the summer.
Today’s announcement follows SSE Airtricity’s half-yearly review of supply and operating costs in its regulated natural gas business. This review is conducted at this time every year in consultation with the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator. The company also consulted with the Department for the Economy (DofE) and the Consumer Council of Northern Ireland (CCNI) as part of the review.
Andrew Greer, SSE Airtricity General Manager (NI) said:
“We know this is a very challenging time for a lot of customers and this decision has not been taken lightly. The cost of purchasing natural gas has materially increased compared to this time last year and, while we have worked hard to shield our customers from these costs through the winter, we unfortunately have no alternative but to increase our prices at this time.
“SSE Airtricity has a longstanding history of working with our customers and we will continue to do so. As always, we are encouraging any customer who is having difficulty with their energy costs to contact us and we will do everything we can to find a solution together.
“We’d like to assure our customers that we are fully committed to providing the outstanding customer service they expect from us and, as we have done in the past, delivering value and passing on any savings to customers when we can.”
Customers who wish to speak to the company can do so by calling the number below or visiting https://www.airtricitygasni.com/.
SSE Airtricity Gas NI Phone Number: 0345 900 5253
Independent help and information is also available from Advice NI who provide impartial advice on a range of services to consumers in Northern Ireland.
Advice NI Phone Number: 0800 111 4455
* Annual cost is calculated using a typical annual consumption of 12, 000kWh. Figures rounded to the nearest Pound value and are inclusive of VAT. Actual costs vary according to meter type, individual tariff and consumption.
^Figures quoted based on latest retail energy market Quarterly Transparency Report Q4 2020 published by the Utility Regulator, February 2021