Answers Needed for Electricity Price Hike, Says Committee

Synopsis: Following its meeting today, the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment agreed to press for information from Power NI and the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR) for the details and reasons for Power NI’s recently announced electricity price increase. The Committee will also hear from Manufacturing NI on the potential effects of the price increase to businesses.

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 23 May 2013

Reference: ETI 09/12/13

Following its meeting today, the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment agreed to press for information from Power NI and the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR) for the details and reasons for Power NI's recently announced electricity price increase. The Committee will also hear from Manufacturing NI on the potential effects of the price increase to businesses.

Chairperson of the Committee, Patsy McGlone MLA said: "The Committee will be hearing from Power NI, NIAUR and Manufacturing NI over the course of the coming weeks. Following Power NI's announcement earlier this week, the Committee agreed to urge all three organisations to address this issue during their presentations to the Committee.

"Of course, there is a very fine balance in ensuring competition in the market, sustainability for our businesses and providing a fair price for consumers. However, we are very concerned about the price increase announcement – an increase of 18% for household electricity is quite considerable, especially given our current economic circumstances."

Mr McGlone concluded: "The Committee will pursue this matter with three relevant organisations: NIAUR, as the regulatory body; Power NI, as the supplier and price-setter; and Manufacturing NI as a body that knows how this increase may affect businesses."

ENDS

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