NEA NI welcomes the opportunity to respond to the consultation on the GD23 – Firmus Energy Supply draft price control determination 2023-2026.
The past 18 months have been some of the most difficult for energy consumers and vulnerable households as, fuel prices have soared, and consumer bills have increased dramatically. This increase in energy bills along with rising food prices and high levels of inflation have deepened the level of hardship facing many households and pushed many more people in Northern Ireland into fuel poverty. As of June 2022 ,polling evidence suggests that 45% of NI households are spending more than 10% of their income on energy.
As a regulated company, firmus ultimately serves to provide an essential service to consumers in Northern Ireland. The interests of consumers must be at the heart of the final determination; especially after the record gas tariff increases that consumers in Northern Ireland endured in 2021/2022.