Northern Ireland

SSE Airtricity to cut prices for gas and electric bills by more than 10%

The Utility Regulator is reviewing electricity and gas tariffs
Image caption The business has 210,000 electricity customers and 135,000 gas customers

Northern Ireland's second biggest energy supplier, SSE Airtricity, is to cut bills by more than 10%.

Customers who use gas or electricity from the company will save an average of £50 a year, and those who use both will save on average £100 a year.

The company has 350,000 domestic and small business customers.

Gas tariffs will reduce from April by 10.2%, with electricity following in June by 10.3%.

The business has 210,000 electricity customers and 135,000 gas customers.

SSE Airtricity's managing director, Stephen Wheeler, said: "This is the third successive price cut in just over 12 months meaning in the same period we've delivered savings of £260 for our household customers."

The company said the price cut follows an annual review of costs associated with its natural gas business.

Earlier this month, Power NI announced electric bills for its 500,000 domestic customers would fall by 10.3% from April.

It said the move was made possible by a steady fall in the price of wholesale gas, the main fuel used in electricity generation.

The Utility Regulator, which regulates SSE Airtricity's gas prices, welcomed the price cut.

Utility Regulator chief executive, Jenny Pyper, said: "This reduction follows on from two price decreases in 2015, meaning that over the last year, these customers will have experienced a drop in prices of almost 24%.

"Friday's announcement brings the regulated price in Greater Belfast down to levels last seen in 2009 and represents a saving to customers of over £53 per year.

"Whilst we don't price regulate SSE Airtricity in respect of their electricity prices, their 10.3% reduction is further good news for consumers, which we welcome."

Richard Williams, head of energy at the Consumer Council, said: "This is great news.

"The Consumer Council now wants to see the other gas and electricity companies compete for customers by bringing their prices down.

"Consumers consistently tell us energy bills are their biggest concern."

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