Firmus energy have announced they are putting up prices for customers in the ‘Greater Belfast’ network area by 14% from 15th April 2021.
Earlier this month firmus energy confirmed it was increasing prices for customers in the ‘Ten Town’ network area by 17.7% – so this latest announcement is not unexpected but still unwelcome for their customers.
And with ongoing restrictions and ‘stay at home’ message our home energy use remains high so this increase is more bad news for our home energy bills.
What does the price increase mean for customers?
An increase of 14% is a substantial hike for the 50,000 firmus energy customers across the Greater Belfast area.
Looking at this in more detail a typical domestic customer with a credit meter will see their bill rise by £69. Customers with a prepayment gas (PAYG) meter will see an increase of £68 per year.
In the Greater Belfast network area domestic customers can currently choose between two suppliers – firmus energy and SSE Airtricity. A price increase of 9.8% from SSE Airtricity will also kick in from 1st April 2021.
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 know that price stability is important for our customers but the increase of wholesale natural gas costs on the global market, which are beyond our control, have unfortunately made this increase inevitable.
‘Any increase is never welcome news and we recognise this comes at a particularly difficult time for many. 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’
I’m a firmus energy customer…what network am I in?
All this talk of networks may get confusing…and we are not talking about mobile phones!
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 Greater Belfast (Phoenix Distribution)area covers: south, west, east and north Belfast; Carrickfergus; Newtownabbey; Duncrue and Harbour; Lisburn; Carryduff; Castlereagh; Newtownards; Larne; and North Down.
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 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 Greater Belfast network are affected by this latest price 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 energy 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!!!