Electricity price drop welcomed

Foyle MP Mark Durkan.
Foyle MP Mark Durkan.

There has been a wide welcome for the announcement yesterday from Power NI that they are to drop their prices by 14%.

The price drop will come into effect in October of this year.

Stephen McCully, managing director of Power NI (formerly NI Electricity), said if world fuel costs remain stable, prices should then remain the same for the next 12 months,.

The drop will see the average household currently pays £588 a year - and this will fall to £505.

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has welcomed the announcement saying: “Any cut in energy prices should be welcome after the huge price surge in recent years – not least last year’s substantial rise of 18.5%.

“This long-overdue step will help hard-pressed home and business owners in Derry who are currently feeling the pinch from a rise in other costs of living.

“We must also credit some of this to competition. A bigger reduction would also be more welcome.

“The fact that Power NI emphasise the significance of other cost factors keeping our electricity prices high raises the question of what more is being done to knock down and lock down those other costs.”

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said: “The announcement by Power NI this morning of a reduction in its electricity prices for both domestic and business consumers is very welcome.

“Although it does not reflect the massive above inflation increase of last year it will nonetheless represent a welcome reduction in overheads for SME’s, farmers and other commercial users as well as struggling households.

“It is particularly welcome that it will be introduced in time for the winter months, when usage patterns tend to change and more electricity is used by both business and households.

“While Power NI is the largest suppliers of electricity in the North and this is obviously therefore good news for the majority of consumers here, people should be aware of the availability of alternative suppliers and shop around for price comparisons to ensure maximum savings on their energy bills.”

Power NI supplies 84% of homes in Northern Ireland and about half of all businesses.Airtricity supplies 14% of domestic properties and Budget Energy, which is based in Derry, supplies 2% of homes.

Eleanor McEvoy from Budget Energy said Power NI’s decision to cut electricity prices was as a result of competition.

Budget Energy said it would announce its own price cut in the next three weeks which will come into force in October.

“Any savings we make on the wholesale market, we will be transferring onto our customers,” she said.