Compared to the usual stream of news stories surrounding energy companies who are increasing their rates, Power NI’s new announcement is a welcome change of pace. I doubt I speak for just myself when I say that a reduced energy bill is as encouraging as it is surprising.
As of October 2012, Power NI will cut its electricity prices by 14% for all Northern Ireland customers. Although it follows a drastic rise of 18.5% last year, customers wouldn’t have expected them to lower costs, so soon after. On average, this cut should leave the average home with an extra £80 in the bank.
Stephen McCully, Power NI’s managing director claims that the reduction is a result of overall reductions in coal and gas prices. He explained that around nearly 70% of a customer’s bill was spent on the cost of generating the power in the first place. As coal and gas become cheaper, the generation process becomes cheaper and the customers can reap the benefits.
After the company’s annual review of their prices, they decided that the price of fuel was unlikely to change dramatically in the coming 12 months. It gave them the perfect opportunity to give something back to their customers, after the harsh increase in 2011.
Power NI has guaranteed that these new, lower prices will remain in place for at least 12 months. Cut costs until the end of 2013 is good news for the affected domestic and small business users, alike. The average Power NI customer has been faced with bils of £588 a year, but from October, this will fall to a more manageable £505, a reduction of £83.
Glyn Roberts, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association’s chief executive is a big fan of the cut. He praised NI’s commitment to its customers in this tough economic climate, especially considering the rise in rates that other electricity companies seem determined to make.
With this turn around, Power NI will be able to boast their supply is cheaper than the UK average. It’s also hoped that their early declaration of intent will pile pressure on the other electricity company’s annual reviews. With Power NI leading the way, they may be forced to lower their bills, too. After all, all suppliers use gas and coal to a similar degree.
To stay in competition, we may see a price war, which can only be good news for us at home.
Catherine H Lewis is a full-time mum, full-time wife and a part-time employee of www.businesselectricityprices.org.uk the UK #1 in finding cheap business electricity prices. She wants to save the planet, which is definitely worth taking on three jobs.