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Category: Gas

Central heating costs update


If you’ve switched from oil to natural gas recently, you should be feeling pleased with yourself. 

Since I last looked at the annual cost of centrally heating a house, the gap between the price of the two fuels has widened from £75 to £155. This is largely due to an increase in the price of oil but there is another factor at work. I have carried out some calculations u...

Published on 29/12/2019

Help shape new NI energy strategy urge Stormont officials

The process of replacing Northern Ireland’s out of date energy strategy has taken another step forward.

An appeal to energy professionals, academics and consumer representatives for ideas to help inform and shape a new energy framework has been launched by the Department for the Economy. After a review of submitted evidence, officials intend to issue an options p...
Published on 17/12/2019

Protecting against price rise risks with a fixed rate tariff


Should you take the opportunity to fix the price of your electricity tariff? The option is there thanks to Budget Energy. Their Keypad Budget Advantage deal allows customers who pre pay their power bills the chance to lock down the unit rate for a year. 

For households using an average amount of electricity, when you factor in the cost of the standing charge, the effec...

Last updated on 14/11/2019

Rise in sales of electric and hybrid cars

We’ve been in the slow lane as far as the take up of electric and hybrid cars is concerned but are now beginning to pick up speed. The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released to enirgy.info show that combined sales of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles in the year to date reached 2860. That’s a 34...
Last updated on 14/11/2019

Bright future forecast for offshore wind farms

Rosy pictures are often painted for the future of renewables but what makes this latest one stand out is the astonishing contribution it predicts the offshore wind industry is poised to make.

The International Energy Agency says by only using sites close to shore, wind turbines, which currently supply just a third of one per cent of global electricity production,...
Last updated on 07/11/2019

Is this a solution to intermittency of renewables


A reliable electricity system based almost wholly on renewables is not just a lot of hot air, it’s a lot of cold air.

UK based Highview Power’s solution to the intermittency of green sources of power is cryogenic technology relying on chilled air. 

Using off peak energy, air is turned into liquid at close to minus 200 degrees centigrade and stored until it’s neede...

Last updated on 07/11/2019

Cheapest way to heat your home


What is the cheapest way to heat your home? I’ve been comparing four fuels which over the years have been commonly used for central heating. 

The current league leader by a small margin is coal in the form of anthracite grains or beans which can been loaded into a gravity fed boiler. This fuel is not nearly as popular as it used to be but some homes still use it.

Of far more in...

Last updated on 07/11/2019

How green is my supplier


Click Energy emerges as the greenest domestic supplier in Northern Ireland. Each megawatt hour of power it supplies has 115 kg of carbon content. Second is SSE Airtricity with a carbon content of 295kg 

Suppliers have been able to offer less environmentally damaging power because of changes in the sources of energy used for generation

Fossil fuels such as coal and...

Last updated on 07/11/2019

Power Shock

The cost of electricity is rising again. Power NI has just announced a six per cent increase in its tariff. The hike, when it comes into effect at the beginning of October, will add around £35 a year to the average customer's bill.

It follows two previous increases by Power NI: a fourteen per cent price jump last year and a near six per cent boost in 2017.

Published on 14/08/2019

Price jolt


Hopes of a cut in electricity prices this autumn are crumbling away. In fact it’s distinctly possible that when the current review of costs is complete, the regulated tariff which is offered by Power NI may go up instead of down. 

This is surprising to say the least given the fall in gas costs which drive wholesale electricity prices.
Published on 10/07/2019

Mild winter helps to lower wholesale energy prices


Wholesale energy prices here fell by nearly 18% in February as increased imports into the UK of LNG combined with mild weather continued to push prices downwards. However, the Vayu Energy Report shows that despite this substantial drop wholesale prices are still well up on a year ago. 

Vayu Senior Energy Analyst, Keith Donnelly said: “We are continuing to see...

Published on 26/03/2017

Gas price hike could have been greater

The announcement of a 7.6% increase in the cost of gas for homes and small businesses in Belfast comes after a surge in the wholesale cost of fossil fuels on world markets.

The new tariff which has been approved by the Energy Regulator takes effect on the first of April.

It is the first hike in gas prices in Northern Ireland for four years. Th...
Published on 03/03/2017

Gas price hike prediction


Gas prices are being reviewed by the Energy Regulator and the new tariffs when they're announced will kick in at the beginning of April

We’ll know soon enough what the new costs will be but for what it’s worth here’s my prediction. It’s a very rough and ready calculation.

This time last year the price of gas for delivery this winter (2016) was abo...
Published on 23/02/2017

Regulator plays down role of exports in power price surge

 The Energy Regulator has rejected a claim that exports of electricity to Great Britain have been a major cause in driving up the wholesale cost of power here.

In a note to enirgy.info detailing the background to the recent rise in prices, the Regulator says sales to GB have had only a marginal impact. Their analysis showed that exports were “responsible for setting prices ...
Published on 02/11/2016

Enquiry needed into rising cost of power


Since it first became clear that the wholesale price of electricity had markedly shifted upwards, explanations have been offered to explain the change.

Just to recap: the wholesale cost of power has been around £30 a MWh or 3 pence a kWh for many months. But in recent weeks it has jumped to £50 and even £60 a MWh hour. That’s the load weighted average price over an entire t...

Published on 30/10/2016

Electric shock


For those who keep an eye on the cost of energy, recent developments in the wholesale markets have raised a few eyebrows. Oil, gas and now electricity have been rising sharply in price.

For much of this year the wholesale price* of a unit of electricity remained around three pence but at the start of this month it climbed to four pence and then further upwards until by the ...

Published on 23/10/2016

Confused and contradictory energy policy

On those days when the sun is shining but the wind isn’t blowing, our wind turbines sit idle.
At ten thirty this morning wind farms were meeting just two per cent of our electricity demand. Filling the gap have been generators burning gas but also coal. Kilroot Power Station which uses coal has been supplying around forty per cent of our needs. That’s a vastly higher proportion than...
Published on 19/10/2016

New Belfast power station to reduce blackout risk?

Evermore Energy, the company behind the proposed 400 MW gas fired power plant in the Belfast Harbour Estate, has told an influential House of Commons committee that it intends to be operating commercially by 2019 subject to planning and financing.

In a statement to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee (NIAC), Evermore, which already runs a 16 MW biomass fuelled CHP ...
Published on 21/08/2016

Energy market generating new stories

Perhaps it was the sunny weather but whatever the reason, there was quite a lot of energy news this week. And most of it was positive.

Topping the list was the revelation that the same brothers who have created a biomass power plant at Lisahally in Derry are planning a much bigger generating station in Belfast. Ciaran and Stephen Devine want to build a 400 M...
Published on 15/05/2016

Renewables expansion fails to stop greenhouse gas growth in Ireland


Despite an expanding renewables energy sector, total energy related emissions of carbon dioxide in the Irish Republic rose last year by almost four per cent compared with the previous year. In the UK emissions fell by just under three per cent. There is no separate figure for Northern Ireland.

Across the EU as a whole the EU statistics agency Eurostat estimates that carbon dioxide e...

Last updated on 11/05/2016

Wholesale gas prices to fall even further says Vayu

Wholesale gas prices have fallen by 40 per cent over the course of the last twelve months according to the latest Wholesale Energy Market Report published by Vayu Energy. The company which recently announced an expansion into Northern Ireland put the collapse in prices down to abundant supplies and suppressed demand.
The average day-ahead price for gas so far this A...
Last updated on 11/05/2016

Green energy accolade for Housing Executive manager

Longstanding Housing Executive manager Noel Rice has picked up the top prize at the Annual Action Renewables Association Awards 2016. He beat off tough competition to win the Outstanding Award for Work in the Renewable Energy Sector.

Here's the assessment of Noel's role presented to guests at the Action Renewables Awards ceremony in Titanic Belfast. 

"Noel has bee...
Last updated on 11/05/2016

Can the cost of power fall much further?

While electricity prices these days never present a static picture thanks to the entry of new suppliers, the landscape should be clearer when Power NI’s price cut comes into effect on Thursday, April 1.

The company, which still retains the loyalty of three in four of those households who pay for their power in arrears, will be cutting its charges by just over 10 per c...
Last updated on 11/05/2016

Lower prices for gas and electricity

The cost of gas and electricity is set to fall as regulated suppliers review their costs.

Power NI started to examine its tariff before Christmas. It's understood that the company which has over half a million domestic customers will announce its new prices in February. They will come into effect at the beginning of April.

Last year the company cut its rates by just over 9 per cent. ...
Last updated on 11/05/2016

Wholesale cost of energy drops to new low

The firmus Energy Index touched a new low in July as world markets continue to be swamped by a surplus of oil. The Index, which tracks wholesale fuel prices in Northern Ireland, dropped to 74. That’s the lowest figure recorded since the benchmark was launched over five years ago. 

Brent crude ended July at just over 52 dollars a barrel following a 17 per cent pri...
Last updated on 11/05/2016

Wholesale energy prices near six year low

Continuing weakness last month in the global oil market has moved the firmus Energy Index close to a six year low. The widely regarded measure of Northern Ireland wholesale fuel costs fell by four per cent to stand at 84 in June. 

Oil prices had been recovering recently amid good news about the US economy but the economic crisis in Greece helped reverse the trend...
Last updated on 11/05/2016

Wholesale energy prices nudge downwards

In a change from the norm, gas rather than oil decided the direction of wholesale energy last month.

A steady stream of imported LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) helped drive the firmus energy index down by four per cent which now stands at 87.

The cost of oil, which has been seesawing since the start of the year, eased by just one per cent. It appears the recovery in prices from ...

Last updated on 11/05/2016

Price puzzle


The cost of gas, which is the main fuel used by power stations, has dropped year on year by about 20%. So why is the price of electricity coming down by just 5% as evidenced by the Budget Energy announcement?

Put plainly, wholesale fuel costs are a significant component of the bills consumers pay but they are not as important as many people might imagine.

A report publis...

Last updated on 11/05/2016

Local energy firms rated by Which


Budget Energy has emerged on top in a customer satisfaction survey conducted by consumer organisation Which.

The North West based electricity supplier scored 61 points, significantly ahead of its rivals. 

Gas supplier Firmus came second with 53 followed by SSE Airtricity on 51 and Power NI on 48.

The figures were based on customers’ overall satisfaction combined wit...

Last updated on 11/05/2016