25th August 2011: Following the price increase announced by Power NI, Airtricity confirms that, while it has little option but to track the price increase, it will stand by its commitment to customers to offer significant discounts of up to 14% against the new Power NI regulated standard prices.
A message from Kevin Greenhorn, Airtricity Chief Executive:
“In these difficult times any saving is important, and while Airtricity very much regrets the need to increase our prices, we are committed to retaining significant discounts for our customers and to offering real choice and substantial savings on electricity bills. The need for increased prices is due to the large increase in wholesale prices driven by the global energy markets.
Scottish and Southern Energy supplies 10 million customers in Great Britain and, through Airtricity, we have brought competition and lower prices to the regulated Northern Ireland electricity market now and into the future.”
Why are prices increasing?
There has been a significant increase in wholesale energy prices and pass-through charges (charges which we collect on behalf of NIE T&D – the Networks business in Northern Ireland). While we have done our best to absorb these costs, we can no longer do so.
Why are wholesale energy prices going up?
Events such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the political upheaval in the Middle East and longer-term trends such as the fast-increasing energy needs of the Asian economies have all contributed to the rise in wholesale energy prices. As a result, winter wholesale gas prices have increased by 30% year-on-year.
Why do international markets affect your prices?
Almost all of Northern Ireland’s gas, which is the primary source of electricity generation, is bought on external international markets. We are buying in a global market and so we are increasingly exposed to the turmoil of these markets and have to pay the market rates.
What is the impact of the price increase?
From 1st October, Power NI (formerly NIE Energy) standard rates will increase. Airtricity will continue to track these new Power NI prices. All Airtricity discounts are unaffected; however the unit rates will change. Our new discounted prices will be published on our website Airtricity.com as soon as possible after the price increase announced by Power NI, and we will also be communicating the increase directly to all of our customers.
I have a credit meter – will my prices be affected?
Your unit rates will increase, but you’ll continue to pay up to 14% less than Power NI’s increased standard rate, depending on your tariff.
I have a keypad / prepayment meter – will my prices be affected?
Your unit rates will increase, but you’ll continue to pay an additional 10% less than Power NI’s increased keypad rates.
I signed up to a fixed term contract with Airtricity, how does this price increase affect me?
If you chose one of our fixed term products, your unit rates will increase but your discounts are guaranteed for the remainder of the term.
How can I reduce my bills and manage the payments?
There are a number of ways you can reduce your energy bills and manage the payments.
I’m having problems paying, what should I do?
If you are having problems paying your bills, you should contact us straight away. Delaying and allowing debt to build up will only make the problem worse. We can work out a plan for you to pay off your balance in regular amounts you can afford.
Issued by Jason Cooke, Head of Communications, Airtricity
T: 028 90 436883
Notes to editors:
*Savings based on customers switching from Power NI Quarterly-billed Home Energy rate to Airtricity Home Electricity Saver 24 2-Year Fixed Term discount product (direct debit and eBill).
†Calculations based on a typical household consumption of 4,500 kWh per annum, and all NI credit meter customers switching to Airtricity Home Electricity Saver 24 product (direct debit and eBill) and all NI prepaid meter customers switching to Airtricity Pay-as-you-go KeyPad Meter product.