Author: BBC News - www.bbc.co.uk/news
Published on 17 August 2011 02:30 PM
The average annual household electricity bill could be about to rise by almost £100.
Electricity prices look certain to go up from autumn onwards, with the increased cost of coal, oil and gas used to produce it, being blamed.
Power NI will have to convince the Utility Regulator that the the price hike is justified.
Full details of the likely increase are to be made public next week.
It's estimated customers of Power NI, formerly known as NIE Energy, and Airtricity will see a 20% increase in their bills, according to the Irish News. That would add £99 to the average bill over a year.
John French from the Consumer Council has warned that any price hike will hit people already being squeezed financially by rising costs.
"The wholesale price of electricity and oil and gas is rising on the international markets," he said.
"The consumer council is very concerned about how this will impact consumers, especially the 44% of people who are struggling or in fuel poverty in Northern Ireland and struggling to pay for their electricity bills."
Power companies have announced a rise in tariffs across the UK and the Republic, blaming the rising costs of producing electricity.
The price rise is likely to apply from 1 October onwards.
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