Firmus energy have announced a third price rise since April for gas customers in the Greater Belfast Network area. Natural gas tariffs are set to increase by 19.48% from the 6th January 2022.
In October, firmus energy increased prices for their customers in the ‘Ten Town’ network area by 32.98% – so this latest announcement, although not unexpected is still unwelcome news for their customers.
Home energy use is at its highest over the winter months as we turn on lights and turn up the heating. So, with these latest increases, unfortunately energy bills are set to climb even further as well.
What does the price increase mean for customers?
An increase of 19.48% is a huge 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 £145. Customers with a prepayment gas (PAYG) meter will see an increase of £143 per year.
But this is the third price increase since April 2021 by firmus energy in the Greater Belfast Network area:
- April 2021: firmus energy increased prices by 14%.
- October 2021: firmus energy increased prices by 35.15%
- January 2022: firmus energy will increase prices by 19.48%
So taken together, firmus energy prices have increased by almost 69% since April. This has added around £399 to an average bill pay customers bill, or £393 to an average prepayment (PAYG) customers bill.
|Date||Price Change||Impact on Bills|
|15th April 2021||+14%||Bill Pay||+ £69|
|22nd October 2021||+32.98%||Bill Pay||+ £185|
|6th January 2022||+19.48%||Bill Pay||+ £145|
|Total||68.6%||Bill Pay||+ £399|
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. They state that wholesale global gas prices have increased by 414 % from a year ago and 74% since their last tariff review.
Dr David Dobbin, Chairman of firmus energy, said:
“We very much regret having to increase our Greater Belfast tariff however the sheer scale of the increases in global wholesale gas prices have forced our hand.”
“This is not just a firmus issue, but one faced by energy suppliers across gas, oil and electricity, all of whom will have to increase their tariffs to meet the huge surge in global energy costs, if they haven’t already done so.”
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 area covers: south, west, east and north Belfast; Carrickfergus; Newtownabbey; Duncrue and Harbour; Lisburn; Carryduff; Castlereagh; Newtownards; Larne; and North Down. Domestic customers can currently choose between two suppliers – firmus energy and SSE Airtricity.
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!!!