The company has also confirmed a 17.6% price decrease in the Greater Belfast Network with both changes effective from January 1, 2023.
These are the first tariff decreases from firmus energy since October 2020 and are expected to ease the bills of its 111,000 domestic and small business gas customers across the province.
The decreases will coincide with a reduction of the Energy Price Guarantee discount rate for gas customers to 3.9p/kWh.
This will reduce the average cost by £8.83 1 per week in Ten Towns and by £7.92 in Greater Belfast. On an annual basis, this will save customers £460 and £410, on average, respectively.
The Ten Towns area includes Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Craigavon (including Lurgan and Portadown), Limavady, Derry-Londonderry, Newry and more than 25 other towns and villages in the surrounding areas.
The Greater Belfast Network area covers Belfast, Lisburn, Bangor, Holywood, Donaghadee, Larne, Groomsport, Millisle, Newtownards, Carryduff, Comber, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus,
and East Down.
Announcing the price decreases, Niall Martindale, chief executive officer of firmus energy said: “Throughout this challenging period, we committed that as soon as market conditions allowed us
to lower our prices we would do so, and today we are pleased to confirm that prices will be reduced from January 2023.
“The Government’s EPG scheme will provide further savings and we welcome the additional support it is providing to our customers at this time.”
Welcoming the announcement, the Consumer Council went on to urge anyone facing difficulty with payments to seek help.
Raymond Gormley, head of energy policy at the Consumer Council, said: “These firmus energy tariff reductions in both the Ten Towns and Greater Belfast networks are welcome as they will ease some of the pressure that customers have been dealing with for the last number of months. However, prices still remain much higher than last year so many consumers in Northern Ireland are still justifiably worried about their bills. We urge anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills or top-up their meters to contact their supplier directly for help and support.”
The Consumer Council, working together with the Utility Regulator and energy suppliers, has recently co-designed a new energy charter which sees gas and electricity suppliers come together to provide households with extra support this winter. In signing up to the charter, suppliers have agreed to contribute to a hardship fund to help consumers financially, and to implement a range of additional measures to help those who are struggling with their energy bills.
The independent consumer organisation is currently running its ‘save money and energy campaign’ which sets out support and advice to help households save money on their bills this winter by reducing their energy usage through adopting energy efficiency measures. The advice and guidance, including an overview of all financial help, grants, and schemes that are currently available to consumers, is available at www.consumercouncil.org.uk/costofliving/energy
Consumers can also get in touch with the Consumer Council for free independent advice by calling Freephone 0800 121 6022 or by emailing [email protected]