Households braced for hefty rise in electricty bill

A SIX per cent hike in electricity bills is set to impact thousands of home owners in Fermanagh. 
Among those Power NI customers set to be impacted by the rise which comes into affect this October are the elderly. Local councillor Donal O’Cofaigh states that already there is a scenario whereby some are “choosing between heating and eating”. 
The increase in cost is expected to add approximately 67p per week or £35 to the average annual bill. It is anticipated that this will impact just shy of half a million home owners in the North. For the third consecutive year Power NI have increased prices.
Councillor Donal O’Cofaigh said, “This is another hit on households that are already struggling with rising costs across the board with inflation. This increase is hard to see any possible justification for in consideration that the price of energy is actually falling globally at the moment, so how is it that prices for electricity are going up? 
“It remains the case that families are struggling. Older people are choosing between heating and eating and this isn’t going to help with that either going into the colder months.” 
Cllr O’Cofaigh added, “I usually find these price increases are sneaked in during the late summer. I believe this increase will equate to about £35 in the year. That is a huge amount. We have some of the lowest wages here in Northern Ireland, which is again among the lowest wages in the UK, the only way is to increase incomes if costs keep going up and up like this.” 
The electric company have claimed that the price hike, which has been agreed by the Utility Regulator comes in the wake of increased supplier costs.  
Power NI said, “We work very hard to keep our prices as low as possible. Unfortunately, like all suppliers, we have no alternative but to pay these increased network and market charges, which have a knock-on effect on our prices. Customers can be sure that although unwelcome, this increase is as low as possible.”

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