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Continued Increases in world gas prices lead to tariff rise for Greater Belfast Network area

Northern Ireland’s largest supplier of natural gas, firmus energy, has written to its customers in the Greater Belfast area to inform them of an increase to its tariff by 19.48% from 6th January 2022. This is due to the increasing cost of natural gas on the global markets.

This follows the company’s tariff change announced last month for its Ten Towns Network area. Those customers are not impacted by today’s increase.

Wholesale global gas prices have increased by 414 % 1 from a year ago and by 74% 2 since the last tariff review.

The change in tariff will mean an extra £2.75 per week 3 on to the average household bill.

The Greater Belfast Network area covers Belfast, Lisburn, Bangor, Holywood, Donaghadee, Larne, Groomsport, Millisle, Newtownards, Carryduff, Comber, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, and East Down.

Dr David Dobbin, Chairman of firmus energy, said:

“We very much regret having to increase our Greater Belfast tariff however the sheer scale of the increases in global wholesale gas prices have forced our hand.” 

“We know this is an unwelcome increase which will have a disproportionate effect on those of our customers who are most vulnerable. Following ongoing discussions, we will be supporting the government and industry backed financial support scheme that is being developed to assist our most vulnerable customers this winter.”

 “This is not just a firmus issue, but one faced by energy suppliers across gas, oil and electricity, all of whom will have to increase their tariffs to meet the huge surge in global energy costs, if they haven’t already done so.”

Today’s announcement means that tariffs for customers in both the Greater Belfast and Ten Towns Network areas are broadly aligned.

Customers seeking advice on their natural gas bills or direct debit payments should contact the firmus energy Customer Services team on 0330 024 9000. Our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For free and independent advice on how to save energy please contact NI Energy Advice Line on 0800 111 4455.

ENDS

 

Media contact – Open Strategic Communications:

Ross Williamson               ross@oscni.com           44 (0) 7734 821 070

Kelly McVeigh                   kelly@oscni.com           44 (0) 7580 850 224

Johnny Stewart                johnny@oscni.com        44(0) 7785 458 136

 

Notes to editors:

  • firmus energy is an integrated natural gas distribution and supply company, based in Antrim. Since 2005, firmus energy has connected over 60,000 customers in its network area and supplies natural gas to over 110,000 across Northern Ireland.
  • The Greater Belfast Network area covers Belfast, Lisburn, Bangor, Holywood, Donaghadee, Groomsport, Millisle, Newtownards, Carryduff, Comber, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Larne, and East Down.
  • This tariff announcement does not apply to the Ten Towns or Gas to the West network areas.
  • Greater Belfast Network area pay as you go customers will pay 7.317p kWh and Ten Towns Network area pay as you go customers pay 7.67p kWh.
  • There is a clear ambition to reduce Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions in Northern Ireland. Every home converting from a 15-year-old Sedbuk F-rated oil boiler without controls to a new Sedbuk A-rated natural gas boiler with heating controls, used correctly, will benefit from an immediate CO2 reduction of up to 52%”.

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