Re­view finds sig­nif­i­cant an­nual rise in whole­sale en­ergy prices

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

NORTH­ERN Ire­land’s whole­sale en­ergy mar­ket has shown sig­nif­i­cant year-on-year price hikes in the cost of gas and elec­tric­ity, a re­view has found.

Gas prices rose 9% over the year, but ac­cord­ing to the Naturgy En­ergy Re­view and Fore­cast for De­cem­ber, elec­tric­ity shot up by 35% in 2018.

The hike in whole­sale costs has been re­flected in do­mes­tic bills, with en­ergy firms here mov­ing to raise tar­iffs for cus­tomers.

How­ever, the re­cent mild win­ter weather and the res­o­lu­tion of se­cu­rity is­sues around sup­ply ap­pear to have sta­bilised the in­creases.

Whole­sale gas prices ac­tu­ally dipped by 1% last month.

De­cem­ber also marked the third full month of trad­ing for the new all-is­land In­te­grated Sin­gle Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket (I-SEM).

The I-SEM has been de­signed to en­cour­age com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket by op­ti­mis­ing use of cross-bor­der trans­mis­sion as­sets.

How­ever, de­spite the dip in whole­sale gas, in­ter­mit­tent wind power on the grid con­trib­uted to a 14% rise in elec­tric­ity prices last month. Wind power was down 9% be­tween Novem­ber and De­cem­ber.

Naturgy en­ergy an­a­lyst Lau­ren Ste­wart said: “While en­ergy prices have shown sig­nif­i­cant growth year-on-year, a re­cent con­ver­gence of events of tem­per­a­tures above sea­sonal norms, high lev­els of stor­age and fall­ing oil prices have meant gas prices re­main bear­ish.

“Mean­while, elec­tric­ity prices are see­ing a steady in­crease. As the I-SEM com­pletes its third month of trad­ing, we ex­pect the sys­tem to fur­ther em­bed it­self in the mar­ket and fur­ther in­crease com­pe­ti­tion.”

Com­pe­ti­tion: Lau­ren Ste­wart

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.