13/03/2018

Firmus Energy To Increase Gas Prices

Firmus Energy has announced a rise in gas prices starting from next month.

The increase will affect customers in the Ten Towns and Greater Belfast areas.

The firm said the decision was "unavoidable".

From the 05 April, Firmus Energy customers in the Ten Towns network area will see a price increase of 6.8%. Tariff prices in the Greater Belfast area will increase by 8.8% and will take effect from the 16 April.

Michael Scott, Managing Director of Firmus Energy, said: "We work hard to keep our tariffs as low as possible, to offer price stability for customers and give them confidence in natural gas. 

"The decision to raise our tariffs is regrettable and never easy, however in this instance the cost of bringing natural gas to our customers has increased and our price rise has been unavoidable.
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"Our pricing team has engaged extensively with the Utility Regulator, the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland in relation to our regulated tariff in the Ten Towns licensed area.

"We keep our tariffs under continual review to ensure we are bringing the best possible prices to our customers."

SDLP Economy Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan MLA said the price increase will leave vulnerable people out in the cold.

He said: "Household budgets are stretched. In this context, one of the best investments that can be made is in home energy efficiency. Unfortunately, as a result of the paralysis at Stormont, the affordable warmth scheme, which provides grant support to people suffering from fuel poverty, can't be amended to broaden the number of people who can benefit. These grants can be used for cavity wall insulation, roof insulation, boiler upgrades or other energy efficiency measures. The SDLP has previously made the case for the threshold to be made wider so that all those in need can benefit.

"I would encourage anyone with gas heating to begin the process of comparing their suppliers with others in the market. People need to be sure they're getting the best deal available."

(CD/LM)

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