‘Gas customers need greater choice’ – claims East Antrim MLA

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East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has claimed the Enterprise Minister has not acted quickly enough to ensure that reductions in the wholesale price of gas is passed on to domestic customers.

In a written Assembly Question, Arlene Foster confirmed that the Utility Regulator was working to review gas tariffs with Firmus and Airtricity, with any price reductions to take effect from April 1.

Alliance MLA Mr Dickson said: “It is disappointing that the Enterprise Minister has confirmed that Northern Ireland customers will only see a drop in their gas bills from April, when gas usage is generally much lower.

“The Enterprise Minister and the Utility Regulator should be doing more to ensure that companies reduce their prices in the winter, when customers’ pockets would see the greatest benefit.

“It is scandalous that Northern Ireland is acting so slowly to bring down prices when customers in the rest of the UK are already benefiting from lower bills. Without choice the market will never work for consumers, therefore Minister Foster must do more to encourage more suppliers and competitors into the domestic market.”