Committee Welcomes Electricity Price Determination

Synopsis: The Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment today welcomed the findings of the Competition Commission on NIE pricing.

Session: 2013/2014

Date: 08 November 2013

Reference: ETI 04/13/14

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment today welcomed the findings of the Competition Commission on NIE pricing.

The Commission has considered a number of issues with regard to price setting and transparency and has today made a determination that NIE's current price control conditions may operate against the public interest.

Chairperson of the Committee, Patsy McGlone MLA said: "In these times when every penny counts, the Committee welcomes today's provisional determination from the Competition Commission that restricts increases in electricity bills in local homes and businesses. The Committee recognises that reliable and affordable energy is a crucial component in helping our local businesses flourish and compete on the world stage. It is also key in attracting new investors to our shores."

"It is interesting to note that the provisional determination has identified that the application of current price control conditions creates uncertainty in pricing; that aspects of its design do not protect consumers sufficiently; and that the conditions allow excessive cost of capital, which may expose consumers to excessively high charges."

Mr McGlone concluded: "The Competition Commission's report has also highlighted the need for greater transparency in setting prices and this has been a fundamental element of the Electricity Policy Review the Committee has been conducting over recent months.

"The Committee will consider the full content of the Commission's report at its meeting on 14 November, but it is important to note that this is good news for consumers and businesses and the Committee welcomes the points raised by the Competition Commission."

ENDS

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