Northern Ireland

Energy prices: Improvement in costs for Northern Ireland businesses

Electricity pylons Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Energy costs have fallen from their peak around 18 months ago, the Utility Regulator says

A report on electricity prices shows an improvement for medium and large business users in Northern Ireland during 2014.

They are, however, still among the highest in the European Union.

But the report by the Utility Regulator shows how energy costs have fallen from their peak around 18 months ago.

Northern Ireland is reaping the benefits of increased competition, according to business campaign group Manufacturing NI.

Italy still has the highest energy prices in the EU.

The report points out how the market share, based on consumption, of Cookstown energy firm LCC has grown "significantly" between 2013-14.

Recently, it won the contracts to supply power to 10 of the 11 new super councils.

Domestic electricity customers pay slightly above the EU average.

Historically, electricity prices in Northern Ireland have tended to be higher than in Great Britain.

"This differential could be due to higher energy transport costs," the report states.

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