SSE Airtricity has announced a massive 43 percent increase in gas prices, affecting around 190,000 consumers.
A typical customer will experience an increase of roughly £1.02 per day as a result of this tariff adjustment.
This hike will take effect on July 1, 2022, and will affect all SSE Airtricity home and small business customers.
The average home gas bill will rise by £373 to £1,243 per year as a result.
Why is this?
The reason for this was cited as Instability in the global energy markets.
Over the past year we’ve seen wholesale gas prices reach astronomical prices because demand for gas increased as the Covid pandemic eased, and because the war in Ukraine has threatened supplies from Russia.
This all was triggered due to last year’s cold winter in Europe which placed a strain on supplies, and as a result caused stored gas levels to be far lower than normal.
Another factor was due to the hot weather in Asia, more gas was consumed for air conditioning, and Russian gas exports to north-western Europe were likewise decreased.
This all had a knock-on effect on the world’s energy supply.
Andrew Greer, SSE Airtricity general manager said: “We understand energy prices are a serious concern for families across Northern Ireland and know this is not the news our customers want to hear.
“The cost of purchasing natural gas has remained at its highest level in over a decade and at times in recent months, it has hit record highs. Following our last price announcement, we had hoped for some market improvements; however, the war in Ukraine has intensified the energy crisis and compounded the issues facing all energy suppliers today.”
What support is there for customers?
It was announced that In October, all homes in England, Wales, and Scotland will receive a £400 one-time reduction on their fuel bills. This replaces an earlier idea to deduct £200 from bills, which would have had to be returned over a five-year period.
More than eight million low-income households receiving Universal Credit, tax credits, pension credit, and other means-tested benefits will get an additional £650 payment.
The payments, which are intended to help with high increases in energy bills, would be partially funded by a temporary 25% tax on oil and gas companies’ rising profits, according to the government.
You can calculate your Energy Bills here.
The government is also doubling the Household Support Fund to £500m. This money is given to local authorities in England to support vulnerable families.
If you are struggling with this price hike, it is also worth reaching out to your supplier directly to see if there is any other additional support they can provide.
Andrew Greer added: “We would encourage any customer who is having difficulty with their energy costs to please contact us, and we will work with you to find a solution together. Meanwhile, we will continue to watch markets closely and will pass on reductions as soon as we can.”
SSE Airtricity has pledged a £1 million donation to a charity that assists people who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.