SSE Airtricity To Increase Gas Prices By 42.7%

SSE Airtricity increase its Greater Belfast gas tariff by 42.7% from 01 July.

The significant rise will result in an increase of £372 per year to the gas bill of a household with a credit meter and customers with a prepayment gas meter (PAYG) will see their costs increase by £367 per year, taking the overall average household yearly gas bill to over £1,200.

Raymond Gormley, Head of Energy Policy at the Consumer Council said: "The enormity of this SSE Airtricity tariff increase in the Greater Belfast gas network is shocking but sadly it is not unusual; heating oil consumers, electricity consumers, and gas consumers outside Belfast are already living with extremely high prices.
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"We know the biggest challenge for many consumers right now is having enough money for food and energy. Our research shows fuel poverty in Northern Ireland stood at 34% in March. This means even before today's announcements one in three households were feeling their purse strings stretched near breaking point. It's clear that without the introduction of significant support for consumers the coming winter will be miserable for many and life threatening for some.

"The Consumer Council is working to protect consumers by encouraging Government to introduce financial support ahead of the coming winter and clarity is needed about if, how, and when the Chancellor’s energy support package will be made available to people here.

"We are also talking with SSE Airtricity regarding their billing practice processes, customer communications, and support for vulnerable customers. We urge anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills or to top-up their meter, to contact their supplier directly for help and support. We also encourage consumers to think about ways they can reduce their energy costs through energy efficiency and if possible, try to save money over the summer months to cover energy costs during the coming winter.

"In the longer term, this situation shows the importance of the Department for the Economy's Energy Strategy Action Plan, that aims to tackle affordability and move Northern Ireland away from its dependence on fossil fuels."

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