16/07/2004

Phoenix Gas price increase cancelled

Phoenix Natural Gas has today cancelled its proposed 20% consumer price rise, after reaching an agreement with its supplier Centrica.

The hike was announced in March but was suspended following pressure from local politicians and government.

Phoenix Chairman Sir Gerry Loughran said: “It is important news for natural gas consumers that the scheduled April price increase has been removed. The outcome is that our customers have not seen a price change since last October.

“A lot of people have worked hard to make this happen today, in particular we thank the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment Barry Gardiner and his department for becoming actively involved and playing a key helping role to achieve this successful outcome. We would also like to thank our customers for their patience during this recent time.”

Mr Gardiner said: "This is great news for Northern Ireland's gas consumers, whose tariffs will remain at current levels until the next annual price review.

"It also represents an important step forward in restoring consumer confidence and price stability in our developing gas industry. This will be further strengthened by what I hope will be early completion of negotiations by Phoenix and the NI Authority for Energy Regulation on a long term licensing agreement for the company."

The next Phoenix price rise is scheduled for October 2004.

(GB)


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