Power NI announces 16.2% tariff decrease but customers will face 14% bill hike due to reduction in energy guarantee
Power NI has announced a 16.2 per cent tariff decrease effective from April 1, 2023, however, electricity bills for over 474,000 households will increase due to a reduction of the British Government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG).
The company announced on Thursday that a review of its underlying residential unit price has resulted in a 6.61p per unit (16.2 per cent) decrease.
The utility provider said this is due to a fall in wholesale market costs.
The reduction coincides, however, with a 10.33p per unit reduction in the UK Government's EPG Scheme.
This will result in overall tariffs increasing by 3.72p per unit or 14 per cent. The new residential electricity unit price will be effective from April 1, 2023.
William Steele, Director, Power NI Customer Solutions, said: “A decrease in wholesale energy prices has enabled Power NI to again reduce its underlying unit price.
"However, the recent change by the UK Government to its EPG means that a lower level of scheme discount will be applied to all electricity bills. Unfortunately, this means customers will see a 14 per cent increase in prices.
The Consumer Council has estimated the typical standard Power NI credit bill will increase by around £119 and Power NI customers with a prepayment meter will also see their costs increase by £116 a year.
Peter McClenaghan, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability at the Consumer Council said: “It is welcome news that wholesale energy prices are coming down allowing Power NI to announce a second price reduction for its customers so far in 2023.
"However, as this is happening at the same time as changes to the level of the EPG, consumers’ bills will increase.
“This strange situation is happening because the additional back-dated EPG support consumers here were receiving is ending. The additional support had been provided because the EPG was introduced later in Northern Ireland.
“Due to the change in EPG, it is likely that the other four unregulated electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland will increase their prices, accordingly, meaning that consumers should consider reviewing their tariff in the coming months to ensure they are on the best deal for their needs, as money can be saved by switching supplier, tariff, or billing method.”
Mr. Steele said: “We understand that some customers may be worried about paying bills. We would ask for any concerned customers to contact us directly and we will help you.
“As well as working directly with customers, we will continue to work closely with our charity partners and other key stakeholders, to ensure the most vulnerable in our society and those who are struggling get the help they need.”
Power NI says it helps customers to save money through a range of discounted payment schemes and services.
Customers can contact its self-service 24/7 telephone service on 03457 455 455 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm). Details of all help can be found at www.powerni.co.uk/energy-bill-support
The Consumer Council’s website also contains information on energy efficiency, and an overview of all financial help, grants, and schemes available to help with high energy costs: www.consumercouncil.org.uk/costofliving/energy