SSE Airtricity has confirmed today that it is increasing standard household energy prices in Northern Ireland from 1 October 2018. The move is in response to continuing increases in wholesale fuel costs on global markets and rising networks charges.
SSE Airtricity’s regulated natural gas prices will increase for home and small business customers by 10.9%. This represents a typical increase of £1.08 per week for households. This increase has been examined and approved by the Utility Regulator. SSE Airtricity’s household electricity prices will increase by 18.2%, or £1.66 per week1.
Rising external costs outside of SSE Airtricity’s control are responsible for the increases being announced. These include sustained increases in wholesale costs which have seen the price of gas rise by almost 40% in the last 12 months2 as well as increases to transportation charges for using gas and electricity networks, which affect all suppliers.
Today’s announcement follows a review by the company of its costs associated with energy supply, including a review of the supply and operating costs of its regulated natural gas business which is conducted at this time every year. This six-month gas price review was completed by SSE Airtricity in consultation with the Utility Regulator, the Department for the Economy, and the Consumer Council of Northern Ireland (CCNI)3.
David Manning, Director of Home Energy at SSE Airtricity, said:
“We’re disappointed we have to announce increases in our gas and electricity prices at this time. Unfortunately this decision is unavoidable due to the sustained increases in wholesale fuel and transportation costs over the last 12 months. However, we will continue to focus on providing our customers with the value, outstanding service and low-carbon energy they expect from us, and when we can pass on any future savings, we will.”
From 1 October, the typical annual regulated cost of natural gas will be £576, based on a customer on standard 24hr credit meter tariff (Home Energy Standard) with typical medium level consumption of 12,000 kWh.
From 1 October, the typical annual cost of home electricity will be £561, based on a customer on the 24hr SmartSaver Standard credit meter tariff (Direct Debit with eBilling) with typical consumption of 3,200 kWh.
Figures rounded to the nearest Pound value and are inclusive of VAT. Actual costs vary according to meter type, individual tariff and consumption.
2. 38.48% change in forward NBP wholesale gas costs based on 12-month comparison of UK Natural Gas Futures, 15 August 2017 (43.76 pence per therm average for Winter17/Summer 18 product) and 15 August 2018 (60.60 pence per therm average for Winter18/Summer 19 product); source: Intercontinental Exchange Settlement Prices (NYSE:ICE).
3. Under the annual Natural Gas Price Control review process, the setting of SSE Airtricity’s regulated natural gas prices, including any changes to those prices, require the Utility Regulator’s formal approval. Annual price changes, if they are to be applied, take effect from 1 April each year. The Price Control process also allows for an interim or 6-month review by the Regulator of SSE Airtricity’s natural gas tariffs with any mid-year price changes, if required, taking effect from 1 October each year.
4. Price change applies to 173,272 household electricity customers and 152,220 household and business (Small Industrial & Commercial) gas customers. Figures quoted based on latest Retail Market Monitoring Quarterly Transparency Report Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2018 published by the Utility Regulator, May 2018. SSE Airtricity provides natural gas to 10 Domestic customers on the Gas to the West Network, as at 31 March 2018.
5. This is the first increase in SSE Airtricity’s home electricity prices in 12 months, and the second in its regulated gas prices in the same period. Six months ago the Utility Regulator approved a 7.8% increase in SSE Airtricity’s regulated natural gas prices