Firmus hikes up gas by 38.18% - third rise this year for consumers
As customers saw a 35% spike in gas prices in October, firmus energy announced its third increase (38.18%) to Ten Towns’ customers this year.
Earlier this year the gas firm, which is the only supplier to customers in the Ten Towns, announced its first price rise of 18%.
The Ten Towns Network includes Craigavon (Portadown and Lurgan) Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Limavady, Derry/Londonderry, Newry, and more than 25 other towns and villages in the surrounding areas.
Those representing consumers on low incomes, on benefits and pensioners have already voiced concern about these steep rises, particularly as Winter begins.
The firm said: “Due to further increases in global wholesale gas prices, firmus energy has today announced a 38.18% increase to the natural gas tariff in the Ten Towns Network area.
“This will take effect from the 3rd December 2021.
“Wholesale global gas prices have increased by 430% from a year ago and by 136% since the previous tariff review that came into effect on the 1st October.
“Today’s announced change in tariff will mean an extra £4.89 per week on to the average household bill.”
Dr David Dobbin, Chairman of firmus energy, said: “We very much regret having to increase our tariff however steep increases in global wholesale gas prices have forced our hand.
“This is a not a firmus issue, but a challenge faced by every local and national supplier of gas and electricity all of whom, sooner or later, will have to further increase their prices to meet the huge upsurges which have taken place in wholesale energy costs.
“We know this is an unwelcome increase which will have a disproportionate effect on those of our customers who are the most vulnerable. We have been consulting with key stakeholders and will be introducing a support scheme to be delivered through a local charity which will offer targeted help to those most in need, especially over the winter period.
“The scheme will be launched in the coming weeks and will go live around the same time as the increase we announced today takes effect. If any of our customers feel that they require further support, they should contact us directly to see how we can help.”
Customers seeking advice on their natural gas bills or direct debit payments should contact the firmus energy Customer Services team on 0330 024 9000. Our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For free and independent advice on how to save energy please contact NI Energy Advice Line on 0800 111 4455.