Northern Ireland

Firmus: Gas firm cuts prices for some NI customers

Gas ring on cooker
Image caption Firmus Energy supplies gas to two separate domestic markets within Northern Ireland

Firmus Energy, the gas supply company, is to cut prices for customers in the greater Belfast area, but prices will not change for those outside the city.

It holds gas supply licences for two separate domestic markets within Northern Ireland - greater Belfast and a market known as the Ten Towns area.

Within the greater Belfast licence area, tariff prices will fall by 6.38%.

It follows a number of price cuts by Northern Ireland energy firms, after the recent drop in wholesale costs.

'Good news'

Firmus Energy's managing director, Michael Scott, said: "Our approach is always to keep our natural gas prices as low and as stable as possible for our customers.

"We have consistently offered the lowest tariff prices for domestic customers and we are delighted that this will continue."

He added: "In the 'Ten Towns' licence area, our current regulated tariffs, although not changing, will remain over 3% lower for domestic consumers compared to the average of the 'Big Six' companies in Great Britain after their recently announced reductions have been put in place."

The chief executive of Northern Ireland's Utility Regulator, Jenny Pyper, said reduction for Firmus Energy's Belfast customers was "further good news for consumers and demonstrates the responsiveness of the market".

"Whilst there is no reduction in the Ten Towns' tariff, this announcement signals stability and confidence for consumers in the area, who will continue to enjoy gas prices that are among the lowest in the UK," Ms Pyper said.

Gas network

In 2005, Firmus Energy was formally awarded supply and distribution licences for the development of a natural gas network in 10 towns and cities outside of Belfast.

They included; Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Craigavon, Limavady, Londonderry and Newry.

Firmus Energy's gas network has since expanded and the licence area - still known as the Ten Towns - now also includes: Ahoghill, Ballyclare, Bessbrook, Broughshane, Bushmills, Cullybackey, Lurgan, Maghaberry, Magheralin, Moira, Newbuildings, Portadown, Portstewart, Tandragee, Templepatrick and Warrenpoint.

The licence area known as greater Belfast includes; Belfast, Bangor, Castlereagh, Carrickfergus, Carryduff, Comber, Glengormley, Donaghadee, Holywood, Larne, Lisburn, Mallusk, Newtownabbey and Newtownards.

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