Energy Blog

Northern Ireland Suppliers Cut Prices

By : Business Save |April 14, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

Two of Northern Ireland’s energy suppliers are cutting prices for their customers by around 20% from April. Firmus Energy are making the 20% cut for customers outside Belfast, with a separate announcement due that covers the capital.

The largest gas supplier in Northern Ireland is following suit, with SSE Airtricity set to make a 19% cut. The reason for the price cut is a significant fall in wholesale prices.

Significant Reductions in Annual Bills

SSE services 168,000 households and businesses, with Firmus supplying a further 50,000. The Firmus customers can expect a reduction of about £135 on the average annual household bill. SSE Airtricity customers can expect the typical annual bill to drop by £108.

The Managing Director of Firmus Energy, Michael Scott, said: “This saving follows on from a previous reduction of 8.77% in October last year and means that natural gas is now almost 30% cheaper than last summer.”

Energy Regulation Department Expecting More Price Cuts

The Utility Regulator is the independent non-ministerial Government department that regulates Northern Ireland’s electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries. Their primary objective is to promote the short and long-term interests of consumers, similar to Ofgem in Britain.

Their Chief Executive, Jenny Pyper, has previously said of the wholesale price drops: “In relation to electricity, we have begun a review with Power NI regarding their domestic regulated tariffs and expect an announcement in the coming months. Given the falls being seen in wholesale prices, I would be hopeful of a positive outcome for electricity consumers before the summer.”

Utility Regulator Chief Executive Set to Retire

Chief Executive Pyper recently announced that she will be leaving her role at the Utility Regulator in the autumn. Ms Pyper has held the position for nearly seven years and has overseen improved performances from energy providers. During her stint as Chief Executive, enforcement activities secured financial penalties of £720,000. Pyper also ensured payment of charitable donations to fuel poverty charities of almost £750,000.

Ms Pyper said in a statement announcing her decision: “I have agreed to stay until the autumn to enable the appointment of my successor and to facilitate a short handover period. Until then I remain fully focused on progressing major regulatory price control reviews and other significant strategic challenges, including input to a new energy strategy for Northern Ireland.”

The Chairman of the Utility Regulator board, Bill Emery, was effusive in his praise of Pyper, saying: “During her seven years at the Utility Regulator she has transformed the organisation into a more outward looking and collaborative regulator while robustly protecting Northern Ireland’s energy and water consumers.

“The delivery of a new cross border wholesale electricity market worth over £2 billion, which went live in 2018, is testament to her inspiring leadership. She has also overseen the impressive growth in the natural gas network across Northern Ireland and the investment necessary to meet government renewable generation targets.”

To learn more about different energy suppliers and tariffs, contact Business Save and their team of highly experienced energy experts.

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Coronavirus Cuts Fossil Fuel Investments and Pollution

By : Business Save |March 27, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

The oil and gas industry will experience investment cuts totalling over £23 billion due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Over the course of the year there will likely be significant staffing and supply shortages as well.

The ominous prediction comes from Rystad Energy, an independent energy research and business intelligence company. They suggest experts don’t yet know when the effects of the outbreak will ease, and that the situation could worsen.

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British Gas Owner Reports Major Profit Loss

By : Business Save |March 20, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

The parent company of British Gas has reported massive losses fore the period covering 2019. Centrica reported losses totalling £849 million in the year ending December 31st. It is an enormous turnaround considering the previous year-long period saw profits of £987 million.

Share prices in Centrica have also tumbled by up to 15% in response to the news. The company has blamed the energy price cap combined with falling gas prices.

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Record Number of Customers Switch Supplier

By : Business Save |March 12, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

A report published by trade association Energy UK revealed a record number of customers switched electricity supplier during 2019. A total of 6.4 million customers switched last year, which averages out at 12 supplier switches every minute.

The new record is an increase of 9% on the numbers from 2018. That year saw the previous record of 5.8 million customers switching their electricity provider.

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Ovo Energy Pay £8.9m for Overcharging Customers

By : Business Save |March 03, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

Ovo Energy is being forced to pay £8.9m by energy industry regulator Ofgem after it was caught overcharging customers. The firm sent also inaccurate statements to customers and, despite discovering the problem themselves, failed to inform Ofgem.

Having purchased SSE’s retail business last year, Ovo Energy have temporarily become the UK’s second-largest energy company behind British Gas. They are already the largest independent supplier with more than 1.5 million original customers. The purchase of SSE saw them take on another 3.5 million customers.

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Ofgem’s 9-Point Plan to Combat Climate Crisis

By : Business Save |February 25, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

Energy industry regulator Ofgem has set out a 9-point plan to prioritise tackling the climate crisis. The plan supports investment in low-carbon technology, prevents exploitative price rises and encourages more flexibility in energy systems and regulation.

The plan has been devised after Ofgem were criticised for failing to prioritise the climate crisis issues. The changes proposed by the plan will change how energy is governed and help the Government achieve its net-zero targets.

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Millions to Benefit From Lower Price Cap

By : Business Save |February 18, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

Energy industry regulator Ofgem is lowering the price cap by £17, reducing energy bills for millions of British consumers. The new default price cap and pre-payment meter ceiling will begin in April with an estimated 15 million households affected.

The default price cap currently protects about 11 million households and will be reduced from £1,179 to £1,162. The pre-payment meter cap protects another 4 million households and will drop from £1,217 to £1,200 per year. These changes will last for six months between April and September.

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Nine Energy Suppliers Ordered to Become DCC Users

By : Business Save |February 14, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

Nine energy suppliers will be ordered to become Data Communications Company (DCC) users for Ofgem’s smart meter rollout. The UK energy regulator is currently consulting on issuing a final order for the firms to do so.

Ofgem says they are in breach of the requirement to be DCC users as all suppliers are required to do so. The requirement has been in place since 25th November 2017. They were supposed to become DCC users then or upon exiting the Controlled Market Entry process.

The requirement for suppliers to become DCC users was made to help the enrolment of first-generation smart meters. It would also drive the installation of the next generation of smart meters.

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New Green Energy Supplier Launched in London

By : Business Save |February 06, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is launching a new energy supplier to provide 100% renewable electricity to customers. The new supplier will be called London Power.

All profits made by the new firm will be reinvested in community projects around the capital. These investments will help tackle fuel poverty and drive London towards becoming a carbon neutral city.

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iSupply to Pay £1.5m Fine for Price Cap Failings

By : Business Save |January 28, 2020 |Energy Blog |0 Comment

Energy supplier iSupply will pay £1.5 million compensation after they overcharged around 4,400 of their customers. The overcharge happened on default tariffs which the supplier failed to alert the regulator about.

There would be no overcharge without the price cap introduced last year, highlighting the problem the cap was introduced for. The price cap was intended to protect 11 million customers on default tariffs and came into force on January 1st 2019.

All suppliers were required to charge their default tariff customers at or below the level of the cap. This was to ensure the 11 million often vulnerable customers only paid a fair amount for energy.

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