It’s been a summer of rising energy prices and firmus energy have announced they are hiking prices for the second time this year for customers in the ‘Ten Towns’ network area.
Prices are set to increase from 1st October 2021…by a huge 35.15%.
As we head towards the start of winter our home energy use really starts to ramp up so this large increase to prices will be unwelcome news for firmus energy customers.
What does the price increase mean for customers?
An increase of 31.15% is a huge price hike for the 55,000 firmus energy customers across the Ten Towns area. This will result in a significant rise in bills and means people will have to pay much more to stay warm this winter.
Looking at this in more detail a typical domestic customer with a credit meter will see their bill rise by £183 to around £701 per year (Direct Debit customers can get a discount of up to £22 per year).
Customers with a prepayment gas (PAYG) meter will see an increase of £175 to around £668 per year. Firmus energy are the only gas supplier to domestic customers in the Ten Towns network area, so customers are unable to switch to another supplier.
What has been happening to prices this year?
This latest price increase comes on the back of a 17.75% price increase which came into effect on 1st April 2021. So, prices since April, have increased by almost 53% adding £261 to bill pay customer bills and £249 to Pay as You Go bills.
Two price increases in 2021 ends the trend of price reductions from firmus energy as they had announced separate price decreases in March 2020 and October 2019.
|Date||Price Change||Impact on Bills*|
|1st April 2021||+17.75%||Bill Pay||+ £78|
|1st October 2021||+35.15%||Bill Pay||+ £183|
What firmus energy have said…
Firmus energy have stated that the main driver for the price increase is due to rising wholesale costs which are beyond their control and make up a significant part of the final bill paid by each customer.
Michael Scott, Managing Director of firmus energy, said:
“We are very sorry to have to make this announcement as the last thing we want is to have to increase our prices. However, given the massive increases in the cost of purchasing natural gas on the global markets, it is simply unavoidable, as these costs are totally beyond our control.”
“We want to assure our customers that we will continue to monitor and review our tariffs to ensure customers are getting the best prices possible. As soon as we can lower our prices again, we will do so without delay”.
I’m a firmus energy customer…what network am I in?
All this talk of gas networks may get confusing…so a quick recap
Northern Ireland is broken into three separate gas networks – these are the Greater Belfast area, the Ten Towns area and the West network area. Each is distinct and will have different suppliers, cost and tariff options.
The Ten Towns area is owned and manged by firmus energy and includes: Derry/Londonderry, Limavady, Coleraine (including Portstewart and Bushmills), Ballymoney, Ballymena (Broughshane), Antrim (including Ballyclare and Templepatrick), Craigavon (including Portadown and Lurgan), Banbridge, Newry (Warrenpoint), Armagh (Tandragee) and more than 25 other towns and villages in the surrounding area.
The Greater Belfast area covers: south, west, east and north Belfast; Carrickfergus; Newtownabbey; Duncrue and Harbour; Lisburn; Carryduff; Castlereagh; Newtownards; Larne; and North Down.
The West Network operated by SGN Natural Gas is bringing gas to areas including Coalisland, Cookstown, Dungannon, Magherafelt, Omagh, Enniskillen, Strabane and Derrylin.
Only firmus energy customers in the Ten Towns network are affected by this price increase. Customers in the Greater Belfast network area and in the West network area will not be impacted by this announcement.
Get in touch with your energy supplier
As everyone realises, we are living in uncertain times. It’s important to get in touch with your energy supplier to discuss any payment issues or concerns and help manage your account. Even providing an up to date meter read can make sure your payments are accurate and up to date.
Finding a better deal…
At ‘Power to Switch’ we compare all tariffs and deals across all electricity suppliers to save you money. Switching is quick, hassle-free and means you keep more money in your pocket. You don’t even have to tell your old supplier you are leaving!!!
*based on annual consumption of 12,000kWh