Posted on Tuesday 7 March 2017 by Ulster Business

Gas price hike blamed on global rally

Another Northern Ireland energy company has announced an increase to gas price as a result of an increase in wholesale process.

firmus energy said gas tariffs will rise by 12.2% in the 10 towns it serves, as well as in the greater Belfast area, from March 31.

The 10 towns include Belfast, Lisburn, Bangor, Holywood, Donaghadee, Groomsport, Millisle, Newtownards, Carryduff, Comber, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus and Larne.

Michael Scott, managing director of firmus energy, said it’s the first time the company has increased its prices in three years.

“We understand the importance of price stability for customers and apologise for having to increase prices,” he said. “Over the past three years we have been able to reduce or maintain our prices.

“We appreciate that this is not good news for customers, however, this tariff change is driven by the rising wholesale natural gas commodity market.”

The tariff review process is carried out by firmus energy and the Utility Regulator, in consultation with the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

firmus’s move follows SSE Airtricity’s price increase of 7.6% last week.

Both blamed an increase in the wholesale gas price, with natural gas futures climbing by around one third on the same time last year.

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